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PREFACE,  BY  BISHOP  WHIPPLE  ..................................      y 

INTRODUCTION,  BY  PRESIDENT  JULIUS  H.  SEELYE  ...................      1 

INTRODUCTORY  ...............................................     9 

THE  DELAWARES.  .  .  -.  .........................................    82 

THE  CHEYENNES  ..............................................    66 

THE  NEZ  PERCES  .............................................  103 

THE  Sioux.  .................................................  136 

THE  PONCAS  .................................................  186 

THE  WINNEBAGOES  ...........................................  218 

THE  CHEROKEES  ..........................................................................  267 




I.  The  Conestoga  Massacre 298 

II.  The  Gnadenhiitten  Massacre 317 

HI.  Massacres  of  Apaches 324 





II.  TflEPoNCA  CASE 859 







WOMAN 395 


PHABET  404 




\\\\,  SEQUEL  TO  THE  WALLA  WALLA  MASSACRE..  . . , 407 





I  HAVE  been  requested  to  write  a  preface  to  this  sad  story  of 
*A  Century  of  Dishonor."  I  cannot  refuse  the  request  of  one 
whose  woman's  heart  has  pleaded  so  eloquently  for  the  poor  Red 
men.  The  materials  for  her  book  have  been  taken  from  official 
documents.  The  sad  revelation  of  broken  faith,  of  violated  trea- 
ties, and  of  inhuman  deeds  of  violence  will  bring  a  flush  of  shame 
to  the  cheeks  of  those  who  love  their  country.  They  will  wonder 
how  our  rulers  have  dared  to  so  trifle  with  justice,  and  provoke 
the  anger  of  God.  Many  of  the  stories  will  be  new  to  the  reader. 
The  Indian  owns  no  telegraph,  employs  no  press  reporter,  and  his 
side  of  the  story  is  unknown  to  the  people. 

Nations,  like  individuals,  reap  exactly  what  they  sow ;  they 
who  sow  robbery  reap  robbery.  The  seed-sowing  of  iniquity  re- 
plies in  a  harvest  of  blood.  The  American  people  have  accepted 
as  truth  the  teaching  that  the  Indians  were  a  degraded,  brutal 
race  of  savages,  whom  it  was  the  will  of  God  should  perish  at 
the  approach  of  civilization.  If  they  do  not  say  with  our  Puri- 
tan fathers  that  these  are  the  Hittites  who  are  to  be  driven  out 
before  the  saints  of  the  Lord,  they  do  accept  the  teaching  that 
manifest  destiny  will  drive  the  Indians  from  the  earth.  The  in- 
exorable has  no  tears  or  pity  at  the  cries  of  anguish  of  the  doom- 
ed race.  Ahab  never  speaks  kindly  of  Naboth,  whom  he  has 
robbed  of  his  vineyard.  It  soothes  conscience  to  cast  mud  on  the 
character  of  the  one  whom  we  have  wronged. 

The  people  have  laid  the  causes  of  Indian  wars  at  the  door  of 
the  Indian  trader,  the  people  on  the  border,  the  Indian  agents, 
the  army,  and  the  Department  of  the  Interior.  None  of  these  are 
responsible  for  the  Indian  wars,  which  have  cost  the  United  States 
five  hundred  millions  of  dollars  and  tens  of  thousands  of  valua- 
ble lives.  In  the  olden  time  the  Indian  trader  was  the  Indian's 
friend.  The  relation  was  one  of  mutual  dependence.  If  the 
trader  oppressed  the  Indian  he  was  in  danger  of  losing  his  debt; 


if  the  Indian  refused  to  pay  his  debts,  the  trader  must  leave  the 
country.  The  factors  and  agents  of  the  old  fiir  companies  tell  us 
that  their  goods  were  as  safe  in  the  unguarded  trading-post  as  in 
the  civilized  village.  The  pioneer  settlers  have  had  too  much  at 
stake  to  excite  an  Indian  massacre,  which  would  overwhelm  their 
loved  ones  in  ruin.  The  army  are  not  responsible  for  Indian 
wars;  they  are  "men  under  authority,"  who  go  where  they  are 
sent.  The  men  who  represent  the  honor  of  the  nation  have  a 
tradition  that  lying  is  a  disgrace,  and  that  theft  forfeits  charac- 
ter. General  Crook  expressed  the  feeling  of  the  army  when  he 
replied  to  a  friend  who  said,  "It  is  hard  to  go  on  such  a  cam- 
paign." "  Yes,  it  is  hard ;  but,  sir,  the  hardest  thing  is  to  go  and 
fight  those  whom  you  know  are  in  the  right."  The  Indian  Bu- 
reau is  often  unable  to  fulfil  the  treaties,  because  Congress  has 
failed  to  make  the  appropriations.  If  its  agents  are  not  men  of 
the  highest  character,  it  is  largely  due  to  the  fact  that  we  send  a 
man  to  execute  this  difficult  trust  at  a  remote  agency,  and  expect 
him  to  support  himself  and  family  on  $1500  a  year.  The  Indian 
Bureau  represents  a  system  which  is  a  blunder  and  a  crime. 

The  Indian  is  the  only  human  being  within  our  territory  who 
has  no  individual  right  in  the  soil.  He  is  not  amenable  to  or 
protected  by  law.  The  executive,  the  legislative,  and  judicial 
departments  of  the  Government  recognize  that  he  has  a  posses- 
sory right  in  the  soil;  but  his  title  is  merged  in  the  tribe — the 
man  has  no  standing  before  the  law.  A  Chinese  or  a  Hottentot 
would  have,  but  the  native  American  is  left  pitiably  helpless. 
This  system  grew  out  of  our  relations  at  the  first  settlement  of 
the  country.  The  isolated  settlements  along  the  Atlantic  coast 
could  not  ask  the  Indians,  who  outnumbered  them  ten  to  one,  to 
accept  the  position  of  wards.  No  wise  policy  was  adopted,  with 
altered  circumstances,  to  train  the  Indians  for  citizenship.  Trea- 
ties were  made  of  the  same  binding  force  of  the  constitution ;  but 
these  treaties  were  unfilled.  It  may  be  doubted  whether  one  sin- 
gle treaty  has  ever  been  fulfilled  as  it  would  have  been  if  it  had 
been  made  with  a  foreign  power.  The  treaty  has  been  made  as 
between  two  independent  sovereigns.  Sometimes  each  party  has 
been  ignorant  of  the  wishes  of  the  other;  for  the  heads  of  both 
parties  to  the  treaty  have  been  on  the  interpreter's  shoulders,  and 
he  was  the  owned  creature  of  corrupt  men,  who  desired  to  use 
the  Indians  as  a  key  to  unlock  the  nation's  treasury.  Pledges, 
solemnly  made,  have  been  shamelessly  violated.  The  Indian  has 
had  no  redress  but  war.  In  these  wars  ten  white  men  were  kill- 


ed  to  one  Indian,  and  the  Indians  who  were  killed  have  cost  the 
Government  a  hundred  thousand  dollars  each.  Then  came  a  new 
treaty,  more  violated  faith,  another  war,  until  we  have  not  a  hun- 
dred miles  between  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific  which  has  not  heen 
the  scene  of  an  Indian  massacre. 

All  this  while  Canada  has  had  no  Indian  wars.  Our  Govern- 
ment has  expended  for  the  Indians  a  hundred  dollars  to  their  one. 
They  recognize,  as  we  do,  that  the  Indian  has  a  possessory  right 
to  the  soil.  They  purchase  this  right,  as  we  do,  by  treaty;  but 
their  treaties  are  made  with  the  Indian  subjects  of  Her  Majesty. 
They  set  apart  &  permanent  reservation  for  them;  they  seldom  re- 
move Indians ;  they  select  agents  of  high  character,  who  receive 
their  appointments  for  life ;  they  make  fewer  promises,  but  they 
fulfil  them;  they  give  the  Indians  Christian  missions,  which  have 
the  hearty  support  of  Christian  people,  and  all  their  efforts  are 
toward  self-help  and  civilization.  An  incident  will  illustrate  the 
two  systems.  The  officer  of  the  United  States  Army  who  was 
sent  to  receive  Alaska  from  the  Russian  Government  stopped  in 
British  Columbia.  Governor  Douglas  had  heard  that  an  Indian 
had  been  murdered  by  another  Indian.  He  visited  the  Indian 
tribe;  he  explained  to  them  that  the  murdered  man  was  a  sub- 
ject of  Her  Majesty ;  he  demanded  the  culprit.  The  murderer 
was  surrendered,  was  tried,  was  found  guilty,  and  was  hanged. 
On  reaching  Alaska  the  officer  happened  to  enter  the  Greek 
church,  and  saw  on  the  altar  a  beautiful  copy  of  the  Gospels  in 
a  costly  binding  studded  with  jewels.  He  called  upon  the  Greek 
bishop,  and  said,  "  Your  Grace,  I  called  to  say  you  had  better  re- 
move that  copy  of  the  Gospels  from  the  church,  for  it  may  be 
stolen."  The  bishop  replied,  "Why  should  I  remove  it ?  It  was 
the  gift  of  the  mother  of  the  emperor,  and  has  lain  on  the  altar 
seventy  years."  The  officer  blushed,  and  said,  "There  is  no  law 
in  the  Indian  country,  and  I  was  afraid  it  might  be  stolen."  The 
bishop  said,  "  The  book  is  in  God's  house,  and  it  is  His  book,  and 
I  shall  not  take  it  away."  The  book  remained.  The  country 
became  ours,  and  the  next  day  the  Gospel  was  stolen. 

Our  Indian  wars  are  needless  and  wicked.  The  North  Amer- 
ican Indian  is  the  noblest  type  of  a  heathen  man  on  the  earth. 
He  recognizes  a  Great  Spirit ;  he  believes  in  immortality ;  he  has 
a  quick  intellect;  he  is  a  clear  thinker;  he  is  brave  and  fearless, 
and,  until  betrayed,  he  is  true  to  his  plighted  faith ;  he  has  a  pas- 
sionate love  for  his  children,  and  counts  it  joy  to  die  for  his  peo- 
ple. Our  most  terrible  wars  have  been  with  the  noblest  types  of 


the  Indians,  and  with  men  who  had  been  the  white  man's  fnenaT 
Nicolet  said  the  Sioux  were  the  finest  type  of  wild  men  he  had 
ever  seen.  Old  traders  say  that  it  used  to  be  the  boast  of  the 
Sioux  that  they  had  never  taken  the  life  of  a  white  man.  Lewis 
and  Clarke,  Governor  Stevens,  and  Colonel  Steptoe  bore  testimony 
to  the  devoted  friendship  of  the  Nez  Percys  for  the  white  man. 
Colonel  Boone,  Colonel  Bent,  General  Harney,  and  others  speak 
in  the  highest  praise  of  the  Cheyennes.  The  Navahoes  were  a 
semi-civilized  people. 

Our  best  Mends  have  suffered  more  deeply  from  our  neglect 
and  violated  faith  than  our  most  bitter  foes.  Peaceable  Indians 
often  say,  "  You  leave  us  to  suffer  ;  if  we  killed  your  people,  then 
you  would  take  care  of  us." 

Our  Indian  wars  have  not  come  wholly  from  violated  faith.  In 
time  of  peace  it  has  been  our  policy  to  establish  "  almshouses  "  to 
train  and  educate  savage  paupers.  We  have  purchased  paint, 
beads,  scalping  -knives,  to  deck  warriors,  and  have  fed  them  in 
idleness  at  the  agency.  Around  this  agency  and  along  the  border 
were  gathered  influences  to  degrade  the  savage,  and  sink  him  to 
a  depth  his  fathers  had  never  known.  It  has  only  needed  a  real 
or  a  fancied  wrong  to  have  this  pauperized  savagery  break  out  in 
deeds  of  blood.  Under  President  Grant  a  new  departure  was 
taken.  The  peace  policy  was  little  more  than  a  name.  No 
change  was  made  in  the  Indian  system  ;  no  rights  of  property 
were  given;  no  laws  were  passed  to  protect  the  Indians.  The 
President  did  take  the  nomination  of  Indian  agents  from  politi- 
cians, who  had  made  the  office  a  reward  for  political  service.  He 
gave  the  nomination  of  Indian  agents  to  the  executive  committees 
of  the  missionary  societies  of  the  different  churches.  Where  these 
Christian  bodies  established  schools  and  missions,  and  the  Gov- 
ernment cast  its  influence  on  the  side  of  labor,  it  was  a  success. 
More  has  been  done  to  civilize  the  Indians  in  the  past  twelve 
years  than  in  any  period  of  our  history.  The  Indian  Ring  has 
fought  the  new  policy  at  every  step  ;  and  yet,  notwithstanding 
our  Indian  wars,  our  violated  treaties,  and  our  wretched  system, 
thousands  of  Indians,  who  were  poor,  degraded  savages,  are  now 
living  as  Christian,  civilized  men.  There  was  a  time  when  it 
seemed  impossible  to  secure  the  attention  of  the  Government  to 
any  wrongs  done  to  the  Indians  :  it  is  not  so  to-day.  The  Gov- 
ernment does  listen  to  the  friends  of  the  Indians,  and  many  of 
the  grosser  forms  of  robbery  are  stopped.  No  permanent  reform 
can  be  secured  until  the  heart  of  the  people  is  touched.  In  1802 


I  visited  Washington,  to  lay  before  the  Administration  the  causes 
which  had  desolated  our  fair  State  -with  the  blood  of  those  slain 
by  Indian  massacre.  After  pleading  in  vain,  and  finding  no  re- 
dress, Secretary  Stanton  said  to  a  friend,  "  What  does  the  Bishop 
want  ?  If  he  came  here  to  tell  us  that  our  Indian  system  is  a  sink 
of  iniquity,  tell  him  we  all  know  it.  Tell  him  the  United  States 
never  cures  a  wrong  until  the  people  demand  it ;  and  when  the 
hearts  of  the  people  are  reached  the  Indian  will  be  saved."  In 
this  book  the  reader  will  find  the  sad  story  of  a  century — no,  not 
the  whole  story,  but  the  fragmentary  story  of  isolated  tribes. 
The  author  will  have  her  reward  if  it  shall  aid  in  securing  jus- 
tice to  a  noble  and  a  wronged  race.  Even  with  the  sad  experi- 
ences of  the  past  we  have  not  learned  justice.  The  Cherokees 
and  other  tribes  received  the  Indian  Territory  as  a  compensation 
and  atonement  for  one  of  the  darkest  crimes  ever  committed  by 
a  Christian  nation.  That  territory  was  conveyed  to  them  by  leg- 
islation as  strong  as  the  wit  of  statesmen  could  devise.  The  fa- 
thers who  conveyed  this  territory  to  the  Cherokees  are  dead. 
Greedy  eyes  covet  the  land.  The  plans  are  laid  to  wrest  it  from 
its  rightful  owners.  If  this  great  iniquity  is  consummated,  these 
Indians  declare  that  all  hope  in  our  justice  will  die  out  of  their 
hearts,  and  that  they  will  defend  their  country  with  their  lives. 

The  work  of  reform  is  a  difficult  one ;  it  will  cost  us  time, 
effort,  and  money ;  it  will  demand  the  best  thoughts  of  the  best 
men  in  the  country.  We  shall  have  to  regain  the  confidence  of 
our  Indian  wards  by  honest  dealing  and  the  fulfilment  of  our 
promises.  Now  the  name  of  a  white  man  is  to  the  Indians  a  syn- 
onyme  for  "  liar."  Bed  Cloud  recently  paid  a  visit  to  the  Black 
Hills,  and  was  hospitably  entertained  by  his  white  friends.  In 
bidding  them  good-bye  he  expressed  the  hope  that,  if  they  did 
not  meet  again  on  earth,  they  might  meet  beyond  the  grave  "  in 
a  land  where  white  men  ceased  to  be  liars." 

Dark  as  the  history  is,  there  is  a  brighter  side.  ITo  missions 
to  the  heathen  have  been  more  blessed  than  those  among  the  In- 
dians. Thousands,  who  were  once  wild,  painted  savages,  finding 
their  greatest  joy  in  deeds  of  war,  are  now  the  disciples  of  the 
'Prince  of  Peace.  There  are  Indian  churches  with  Indian  congre- 
gations, in  which  Indian  clergy  are  telling  the  story  of  God's  love 
in  Jesus  Christ  our  Saviour.  Where  once  was  only  heard  the  med- 
icine-drum and  the  song  of  the  scalp-dance,  there  is  now  the  bell 
calling  Christians  to  prayer,  and  songs  of  praise  and  words  of 
prayer  go  up  to  heaven.  The  Christian  home,  though  only  a 


log-cabin,  "has  taken  the  place  of  the  wigwam ;  and  the  poor,  de- 
graded Indian  woman  has  been  changed  to  the  Christian  wife 
and  mother.  With  justice,  personal  rights,  and  the  protection  of 
law,  the  Gospel  will  do  for  our  Red  brothers  what  it  has  done  foi 
other  races — give  to  them  homes,  manhood  and  freedom. 

H.  B.  WHTPFLE,  Bishop  of  Minnesota. 
NBW  YOBK,  November  Ittfc,  1880. 


THE  present  number  of  Indians  in  the  United  States  doea  not 
exceed  three  hundred  thousand,  but  is  possibly  as  large  now  as 
when  the  Europeans  began  the  settlement  of  the  North  Ameri- 
can continent.  Different  tribes  then  existing  have  dwindled,  and 
some  have  become  extinct ;  but  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  the 
vast  territory  now  occupied  by  the  United  States,  if  not  then  a 
howling  wilderness,  was  largely  an  unpeopled  solitude.  The 
roaming  wild  men  who  met  the  new  discoverers  were,  however, 
numerous  enough  to  make  the  Indian  problem  at  the  outset  a 
serious  one,  while  neither  its  gravity  nor  its  difficulty  yet  shows 
signs  of  diminution. 

The  difficulty  is  not  because  the  Indians  are  wild  and  savage 
men,  for  such  men  have  in  the  past  history  of  the  human  race 
been  subdued  and  civilized  in  unnumbered  instances,  while  the 
changes  which  in  our  time  have  been  wrought  among  the  canni- 
bals of  the  South  Sea  and  the  barbarians  of  South  Africa,  and 
among  the  wildest  and  most  savage  of  the  North  American  In- 
dians themselves,  show  abundantly  that  the  agencies  of  civiliza- 
tion ready  to  our  hand  are  neither  wanting  nor  weak. 

The  great  difficulty  with  the  Indian  problem  is  not  with  the 
Indian,  but  with  the  Government  and  people  of  the  United  States. 
Instead  of  a  liberal  and  far-sighted  policy  looking  to  the  educa- 
tion and  civilization  and  possible  citizenship  of  the  Indian  tribes, 
we  have  suffered  these  people  to  remain  as  savages,  for  whose  fut- 
ure we  have  had  no  adequate  care,  and  to  the  consideration  of 
whose  present  state  the  Government  has  only  been  moved  when 
pressed  by  some  present  danger.  We  have  encroached  upon 
their  means  of  subsistence  without  furnishing  them  any  proper 
return;  we  have  shut  thorn  up  on  reservations  often  notoriously 
unfit  for  them,  or,  if  fit,  we  have  not  hesitated  to  drive  them  off  for 


our  profit,  without  regard  to  tlieirs ;  wehave  treated  them  sometimes 
as  foreign  nations,  with  whom  we  have  had  treaties ;  sometimes 
as  wards,  who  are  entitled  to  no  voice  in  the  management  of  their 
affairs ;  and  sometimes  as  subjects,  from  whom  we  have  required 
obedience,  but  to  whom  we  have  recognized  no  obligations.  That 
the  Government  of  the  United  States,  which  has  often  plighted  its 
faith  to  the  Indian,  and  has  broken  it  as  often,  and,  while  punish- 
ing him  for  his  crimes,  has  given  him  no  status  in  the  courts  ex- 
cept as  a  criminal,  has  been  sadly  derelict  in  its  duty  toward  him, 
and  has  reaped  the  whirlwind  only  because  it  has  sown  the  wind, 
is  set  forth  in  no  exaggerated  terms  in  the  following  pages,  and 
ought  to  be  acknowledged  with  shame  by  every  American  citizen. 

It  will  be  admitted  now  on  every  hand  that  the  only  solution 
of  the  Indian  problem  involves  the  entire  change  of  these  people 
from  a  savage  to  a  civilized  life.  They  are  not  likely  to  be  exter- 
minated. Unless  we  ourselves  withdraw  from  all  contact  with 
them,  and  leave  them  to  roam  untrammeled  over  their  wilds,  or 
until  the  power  of  a  Christian  civilization  shall  make  them  con- 
sciously one  with  us,  they  will  not  cease  to  vex  us. 

But  how  shall  they  become  civilized  ?  Civilization  is  in  a  most 
important  sense  a  gift  rather  than  an  acquisition.  Men  do  not 
gain  it  for  themselves,  except  as  stimulated  thereto  by  some  in- 
citement from  above  themselves.  The  savage  does  not  labor  for 
the  gratifications  of  civilized  life,  since  he  does  not  desire  these. 
His  labors  and  his  desires  are  both  dependent  upon  some  spirit- 
ual gift,  which,  having  kindled  him,  quickens  his  desires  and  calls 
forth  his  toil.  Unless  he  has  some  help  from  without,  some  light 
and  life  from  above  to  illumine  and  inspire  him,  the  savage  re- 
mains a  savage,  and  without  this  all  the  blandishments  of  the  civ- 
ilization with  which  he  might  be  brought  into  contact  could  no 
more  win  him  into  a  better  state  than  could  all  the  light  and 
warmth  of  the  sun  woo  a  desert  into  a  fruitful  field.  When  Eng- 
lish missionaries  went  to  the  Indians  in  Canada,  they  took  with 
them  skilled  laborers  who  should  teach  the  Indians  how  to  labor, 
and  who,  by  providing  them  at  first  with  comfortable  houses,  and 
clothing,  and  food,  should  awaken  their  desires  and  evoke  their 
efforts  to  perpetuate  and  increase  these  comforts.  But  the  Indian 
would  not  work,  and  preferred  his  wigwam,  and  skins,  and  raw 
flesh,  and  filth  to  the  cleanliness  and  conveniences  of  a  civilized 
home;  and  it  was  only  as  Christian  influences  taught  him  his  in- 
ner need,  and  how  this  could  be  supplied,  that  he  was  led  to  wish 
and  work  for  the  improvement  of  his  outer  condition  and  habits 


of  life.  The  same  is  true  everywhere.  Civilization  does  not  re- 
produce itself.  It  must  first  be  kindled,  and  can  then  only  be 
kept  alive  by  a  power  genuinely  Christian. 

But  it  is  idle  to  attempt  to  carry  Christian  influences  to  any  one 
unless  we  are  Christian.  The  first  step,  therefore,  toward  the  de- 
sired transformation  of  the  Indian  is  a  transformed  treatment  of 
him  by  ourselves.  In  sober  earnest,  our  Government  needs,  first  of 
all,  to  be  Christian,  and  to  treat  the  Indian  question  as  Christian 
principles  require.  This  means  at  the  outset  that  we  should  be 
honest,  and  not  talk  about  maintaining  our  rights  until  we  are 
willing  to  fulfil  our  obligations.  It  means  that  we  should  be  kind, 
and  quite  as  eager  to  give  the  Indian  what  is  ours  as  to  get  what 
is  his.  It  means  that  we  should  be  wise,  and  patient,  and  per- 
severing, abandoning  all  makeshifts  and  temporary  expedients,  and 
setting  it  before  us  as  our  fixed  aim  to  act  toward  him  as  a  broth- 
er, until  he  shall  act  as  a  brother  toward  us.  There  is  no  use  to 
attempt  to  teach  Christian  duty  to  him  in  words  till  he  has  first 
seen  it  exemplified  in  our  own  deeds. 

The  true  Christian  principle  of  self-forgetful  honesty  and  kind- 
ness, clearly  and  continuously  exhibited,  is  the  first  requisite  of 
true  statesmanship  in  the  treatment  of  the  Indian  question.  This 
would  not  require,  however,  the  immediate  entrance  of  the  Indian 
upon  all  the  privileges  of  citizenship  and  self-direction.  Chris- 
tianized though  he  might  be,  he  would  need  for  a  longer  or  short- 
er time  guardianship  like  a  child.  A  wise  care  for  his  own  inter- 
ests could  not  be  expected  of  him  at  the  outset,  and  the  Govern- 
ment should  care  for  him  with  wise  forethought.  Obedience  to 
the  law  should  be  required  of  him,  and  the  protection  of  the  la^ 
afforded  him.  The  jurisdiction  of  the  courts  and  the  presence  of 
the  Government  should  be  felt  in  the  Indian  Territory  and  upon 
every  Indian  reservation  as  powerfully  as  in  the  most  enlightened 
portions  of  the  land.  The  court  should  go  as  early  as  the  school, 
if  not  before,  and  is  itself  an  educational  agency  of  incalculable 

When  the  Indian,  through  wise  and  Christian  treatment,  be- 
comes invested  with  all  the  rights  and  duties  of  citizenship,  his 
special  tribal  relations  will  become  extinct.  This  will  not  be 
easily  nor  rapidly  done ;  but  all  our  policy  should  be  shaped  to- 
ward the  gradual  loosening  of  the  tribal  bond,  and  the  gradual 
absorption  of  the  Indian  families  among  the  masses  of  our  people. 
This  would  involve  the  bringing  to  an  end  of  the  whole  system 
of  Indian  reservations,  and  would  forbid  the  continued  isolation 


of  the  Indian  Territory.  It  is  not  wise  statesmanship  to  create 
impassable  barriers  between  any  parts  of  our  country  or  any  por- 
tions of  our  people. 

Very  difficult  questions  demanding  very  careful  treatment  arise 
in  reference  to  just  this  point.  Certain  Indian  tribes  now  own  cer- 
tain Indian  reservations  and  the  Indian  Territory,  and  this  right 
of  property  ought  to  be  most  sacredly  guarded.  But  it  does  not, 
therefore,  follow  that  these  Indians,  in  their  present  state,  ought 
to  control  the  present  use  of  this  property.  They  may  need  a 
long  training  before  they  are  wise  enough  to  manage  rightfully 
what  is  nevertheless  rightfully  their  own.  This  training,  to 
which  their  property  might  fairly  contribute  means,  should  assid- 
uously be  given  in  established  schools  with  required  attendance. 

If  the  results  thus  indicated  shall  gradually  come  to  pass,  the 
property  now  owned  by  the  tribes  should  be  ultimately  divided 
and  held  in  severalty  by  the  individual  members  of  the  tribes. 
Such  a  division  should  not  be  immediately  made,  and,  when 
made,  it  should  be  with  great  care  and  faithfulness;  but  the 
Indian  himself  should,  as  soon  as  may  be,  feel  both  the  incen- 
tives and  the  restraints  which  an  individual  ownership  of  prop- 
erty is  fitted  to  excite,  and  the  Government,  which  is  his  guar- 
dian, having  educated  him  for  this  ownership,  should  endow  him 
with  it.  But  until  the  Indian  becomes  as  able  as  is  the  average 
white  man  to  manage  his  property  for  himself,  the  Government 
should  manage  it  for  him,  no  matter  whether  he  be  willing  or  un- 
willing to  have  this  done. 

A  difficulty  arises  in  the  cases— of  which  there  are  many— 
where  treaties  have  been  made  by  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  with  different  Indian  tribes,  wherein  the  two  parties  have 
agreed  to  certain  definitely  named  stipulations.  Such  treaties 
have  proceeded  upon  the  false  view— false  in  principle,  and  equal- 
ly false  in  fact— that  an  Indian  tribe,  roaming  in  the  wilderness 
and  living  by  hunting  and  plunder,  is  a  nation.  In  order  to  be  a 
nation,  there  must  be  a  people  with  a  code  of  laws  which  they 
practise,  and  a  government  which  they  maintain.  No  vague  sense 
of  some  unwritten  law,  to  which  human  nature,  in  its  lowest  stages, 
doubtless  feels  some  obligation,  and  no  regulations  instinctively 
adopted  for  common  defence,  which  the  rudest  people  herded  to- 
gether will  always  follow,  are  enough  to  constitute  a  nation. 
These  Indian  tribes  are  not  a  nation,  and  nothing  either  in  their 
history  or  their  condition  could  properly  invest  them  with  a  trea- 
ty-making power. 


And  yet  when  exigencies  have  seemed  to  require,  we  have 
treated  them  as  nations,  and  have  pledged  our  own  national  faith 
in  solemn  covenant  with  them.  It  were  the  baldest  truism  to 
say  that  this  faith  and  covenant  should  be  fulfilled.  Of  course  it 
should  be  fulfilled.  It  is  to  our  own  unspeakable  disgrace  that 
we  have  so  often  failed  therein.  But  it  becomes  us  wisely  and 
honestly  to  inquire  whether  the  spirit  of  these  agreements  might 
not  be  falsified  by  their  letter,  and  whether,  in  order  to  give  the 
Indian  his  real  rights,  it  may  not  be  necessary  to  set  aside  preroga- 
tives to  which  he  might  technically  and  formally  lay  claim.  If  the 
Indian  Territory  and  the  Indian  reservations  have  been  given  to 
certain  tribes  as  their  possession  forever,  the  sacredness  of  this 
guarantee  should  not  shut  our  eyes  to  the  sacredness  also  of  the 
real  interests  of  the  people  in  whose  behalf  the  guarantee  was 
given.  We  ought  not  to  lose  the  substance  in  our  efforts  to  re- 
tain the  shadow ;  we  ought  not  to  insist  upon  the  summum  jus, 
when  this  would  become  the  aumma  irtjuria,* 

Of  course  the  utmost  caution  is  needed  in  the  application  of 
such  a  principle.  To  admit  that  a  treaty  with  the  Indians  may 
be  set  aside  without  the  consent  of  the  Indians  themselves,  is  to 
open  the  door  again  to  the  same  frauds  and  falsehoods  which 
have  so  darkly  branded  a  "  Century  of  Dishonor."  But  our  great 
trouble  has  been  that  we  have  sought  to  exact  justice  from  the 
Indian  while  exhibiting  no  justice  to  him;  and  when  we  shall 
manifest  that  all  our  procedure  toward  him  is  in  truth  and  up- 
rightness, we  need  have  no  fear  but  that  both  his  conscience  and 
his  judgment  will  in  the  end  approve. 


AMHEBST  COIXBGB,  December  10, 1880, 


AT.T.  the  quotations  in  this  book,  where  the  name  of  the  author- 
ity is  not  cited,  are  from  Official  Reports  of  the  "War  Department 
or  the  Department  of  the  Interior. 

The  book  gives,  as  its  title  indicates,  only  a  sketch,  and  not  a 

To  write  in  full  the  history  of  any  one  of  these  Indian  commu- 
nities, of  its  forced  migrations,  wars,  and  miseries,  would  fill  a  vol- 
ume by  itself. 

The  history  of  the  missionary  labors  of  the  different  churches 
among  the  Indians  would  make  another  volume.  It  is  the  one 
bright  spot  on  the  dark  record. 

All  this  I  have  been  forced  to  leave  untouched,  in  strict  ad- 
herence to  my  object,  which  has  been  simply  to  show  our  causes 
for  national  shame  in  the  matter  of  our  treatment  of  the  Indians. 
It  is  a  shame  which  the  American  nation  ought  not  to  lie  under, 
for  the  American  people,  as  a  people,  are  not  at  heart  unjust. 

If  there  be  one  thing  which  they  believe  in  more  than  any 
other,  and  mean  that  every  man  on  this  continent  shall  have,  it  is 
"  fair  play."  And  as  soon  as  they  fairly  understand  how  cruelly 
it  has  been  denied  to  the  Indian,  they  will  rise  up  and  demand  it 
for  him. 





THE  question  of  the  honorableness  of  the  United  States* 
dealings  with  the  Indians  turns  largely  on  a  much  disputed  and 
little  understood  point.  What  was  the  nature  of  the  Indians' 
right  to  the  country  in  which  they  were  living  when  the  conti- 
nent of  North  America  was  discovered?  Between  the  theory 
of  some  sentimentalists  that  the  ifhdians  were  the  real  owners 
of  the  soil,  and  the  theory  of  some  politicians  that  they  had 
no  right  of  ownership  whatever  in  it,  there  are  innumerable 
grades  and  confusions  of  opinion.  The  only  authority  on  the 
point  must  be  the  view  and  usage  as  accepted  by  the  great  dis- 
covering Powers  at  the  time  of  discovery,  and  afterward  in 
their  disposition  of  the  lands  discovered. 

Fortunately,  an  honest  examination  of  these  points  leaves  no 
doubt  on  the  matter. 

England,  France,  Spain,  little  Portugal — all  quarrelling  fierce- 
ly, and  fighting  with  each  other  for  the  biggest  share  in  the 
new  continent — each  claiming  "sovereignty  of  the  soil"  by 
"Hit  of  priority  of  discovery  —  all  recognized  the  Indians' 
n°  ight  of  occupancy  "  as  a  right ;  a  right  alienable  in  but  two 

tys,  either  by  purchase  or  by  conquest. 

All  their  discussions  as  to  boundaries,  from  1603  down  to 



1776,  recognized  this  right  and  this  principle.  They  reiter- 
ated, firstly,  that  discoverers  had  the  right  of  sovereignty — a 
right  in  so  far  absolute  that  the  discoverer  was  empowered  by 
it  not  only  to  take  possession  of,  hut  to  grant,  sell,  and  con- 
vey lands  still  occupied  by  Indians — and  that  for  any  nation  to 
attempt  to  take  possession  of,  grant,  sell,  or  convey  any  such 
Indian-occupied  lands  while  said  lands  were  claimed  by  other 
nations  under  the  right  of  discovery,  was  an  infringement  of 
rights,  and  just  occasion  of  war ;  secondly,  that  all  this  grant- 
ing, selling,  conveying  was  to  be  understood  to  be  "  subject  to 
the  Indians'  right  of  occupancy,"  which  remained  to  be  extin- 
guished either  through  further  purchase  or  through  conquest 
by  the  grantee  or  purchasers 

Peters,  in  his  preface  to  the  seventh  volume  of  the  "  United 
States  Statutes  at  Large,"  says,  "  The  history  of  America,  from 
its  discovery  to  the  present  day,  proves  the  universal  recogni- 
tion of  these  principles." 

Each  discovering  Power  might  regulate  the  relations  be- 
tween herself  and  the  Indians ;  but  as  to  the  existence  of  the 
Indians'  "  right  of  occupancy,"  there  was  absolute  unanimity 
among  them.  That  there  should  have  been  unanimity  regard- 
ing any  one  thing  between  them,  is  remarkable.  It  is  impos- 
sible for  us  to  realize  what  a  sudden  invitation  to  greed  and 
discord  lay  in  this  fair,  beautiful,  unclaimed  continent — eight 
millions  of  square  miles  of  land — more  than  twice  the  size  of 
all  Europe  itself.  What  a  lure  to-day  would  such  another  new 
continent  prove !  The  fighting  over  it  would  be  as  fierce  now 
as  the  fighting  was  then,  and  the  "right  of  occupancy"  of  the 
natives  would  stand  small  chance  of  such  unanimous  rcco<*ni- 


tion  as  the  four  Great  Powers  then  justly  gave  it. 
C  Of  the  fairness  of  holding  that  ultimate  sovereignty 
longed  to  the  civilized  discoverer,  as  against  the  savage  I 
barian,  there  is  no  manner  nor  ground  of  doubt.    To  quos, 
this  is  feeble  sentimentalism.    But  to  affirm  and  uphold  1 


is  not  in  any  wise  to  overlook  the  lesser  right  which  remained ; 
as  good,  of  its  kind,  and  to  its  extent,  as  was  the  greater  right 
to  which,  in  the  just  nature  of  things,  it  was  bound  to  give 

clt  being  clear,  then,  that  the  Indians'  "right  of  occupancy" 
was  a  right  recognized  by  all  the  great  discovering  Powers, 
acted  upon  by  them  in  all  their  dispositions  of  lands  here  dis- 
covered, it  remains  next  to  inquire  whether  the  United  States 
Government,  on  taking  its  place  among  the  nations,  also  recog- 
nized or  accepted  this  Indian  "  right  of  occupancy  "  as  an  act- 
ual right.  Upon  this  point,  also,  there  is  no  doubt.  / 

"  By  the  treaty  which  concluded  the  War  of  our  Revolution, 
Great  Britain  relinquished  all  claims  not  only  to  the  govern- 
ment, but  to  the  proprietary  and  territorial  rights  of  the  Unit- 
ed States  whose  boundaries  were  fixed  in  the  second  Article. 
By  this  treaty  the  powers  of  the  government  and  the  right  to 
soil  which  had  previously  been  in  Great  Britain  passed  defi- 
nitely to  these  States.  We  had  before  taken  possession  of 
them  by  declaring  independence,  but  neither  the  declaration  of 
independence  nor  the  treaty  confirming  it  could  give  us  more 
than  that  which  we  before  possessed,  or  to  which  Great  Britain 
was  before  entitled.  It  has  never  been  doubted  that  either  the 
United  States  or  the  several  States  had  a  clear  title  to  all  the 
lands  within  the  boundary-lines  described  in  the  treaty,  subject 
only  to  the  Indian  right  of  occupancy,  and  that  the  exclusive 
right  to  extinguish  that  right  was  vested  in  that  government 
which  might  constitutionally  exercise  it."* 

"  Subject  to  the  Indian  right  of  occupancy."  It  is  notice- 
able how  perpetually  this  phrase  reappears.  In  their  desire  to 
define,  assert,  and  enforce  the  greater  right,  the  "  right  of  sov- 
ereignty," the  makers,  interpreters,  and  recorders  of  law  did 
not  realize,  probably,  how  clearly  and  equally  they  were  defin- 

*  Peters,  United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  vol.  vii. 


ing,  asserting,  and  enforcing  the  lesser  right,  the  "  right  of 

Probably  they  did  not  so  much  as  dream  that  a  time  would 
come  when  even  this  lesser  right — this  least  of  all  rights,  it 
would  seem,  which  could  be  claimed  by,  or  conceded  to,  an 
aboriginal  inhabitant  of  a  country,  however  savage — would  be 
practically  denied  to  our  Indians.  But  if  they  had  foreseen 
such  a  time,  they  could  hardly  have  left  more  explicit  testi- 
mony to  meet  the  exigency. 

"The  United  States  have  unequivocally  acceded  to  that 
great  and  broad  rule  by  which  its  civilized  inhabitants  now 
hold  this  country.    They  hold  and  assert  in  themselves  the 
title  by  which  it  was  acquired.    They  maintain,  as  all  others 
have  maintained,  that  discovery  gave  an  exclusive  right  to  ex- 
tinguish the  Indian  title  of  occupancy,  either  by  purchase  or 
conquest,  and  gave  also  a  right  to  such  a  degree  of  sovereignty 
-as  the  circumstances  of  the  people  would  allow  them  to  exercise. 
"  The  power  now  possessed  by  the  United  States  to  grant 
lands  resided,  while  we  were  colonies,  in  the  Crown  or  its  gran- 
tees.   The  validity  of  the  titles  given  by  either  has  never  been 
questioned  in  our  courts.    It  has  been  exercised  uniformly  over 
territories  in  possession  of  the  Indians.    The  existence  of  this 
power  must  negative  the  existence  of  any  right  which  may 
conflict  with  and  control  it.  '  An  absolute  title  to  lands  can- 
not exist  at  the  same  time  in  different  persons  or  in  different 
governments.   'An  absolute  must  be  an  exclusive  title,  or  at 
least  a  title  which  excludes  all  others  not  compatible  witli  it. 
All  our  institutions  recognize  the  absolute  title  of  the  Crown, 
subject  only  to  the  Indian  right  of  occupancy,  and  recognize 
the  absolute  title  of  the  Crown  to  extinguish  the  right.    This 
is  incompatible  with  an  absolute  and  complete  title  in  the  In- 


Certainly.  But  it  is  also  "incompatible  with  an  absolute 
and  perfect  title  "  in  the  white  man !  Here  again,  in  their  de- 
sire to  define  and  enforce  the  greater  right,  by  making  it  so 
clear  that  it  included  the  lesser  one,  they  equally  define  and 
enforce  the  lesser  right  as  a  thing  to  be  included.  The  word 
"  subject "  is  a  strong  participle  when  it  is  used  legally.  Pro' 
visions  are  made  in  wills,  "subject  to"  a  widow's  right  of 
dower,  for  instance,  and  the  provisions  cannot  be  carried  out 
without  the  consent  of  the  person  to  whom  they  are  thus  de- 
clared to  be  "subject."  A  title  which  is  pronounced  to  be 
"  subject  to  "  anything  or  anybody  cannot  be  said  to  be  abso- 
lute till  that  subjection  is  removed. 

There  have  been  some  definitions  and  limitations  by  high 
legal  authority  of  the  methods  in  which  this  Indian  "right  of 
occupancy  "  might  be  extinguished  even  by  conquest. 

"  The  title  by  conquest  is  acquired  and  maintained  by  force. 
The  conqueror  prescribes  its  limits.  Humanity,  however,  act- 
ing on  public  opinion,  has  established  as  a  general  rule  that  the 
conquered  shall  not  be  wantonly  oppressed,  and  that  their  con- 
dition shall  remain  as  eligible  as  is  compatible  with  the  objects 
of  the  conquest  Usually  they  are  incorporated  with  the  vic- 
torious nation,  and  become  subjects  or  citizens  of  the  govern- 
ment with  which  they  are  connected.  *  *  *  When  this  incor- 
poration is  practicable*  humanity  demands,  and  a  wise  policy 
requires,  that  the  rights  of  the  conquered  to  property  should 
remain  unimpaired ;  that  the  new  subjects  should  be  governed 
as  equitably  as  the  old.  *  *  *  When  the  conquest  is  complete, 
and  the  conquered  inhabitants  can  be  blended  with  the  con- 
querors, or  safely  governed  as  a  distinct  people,  public  opinion, 
which  not  even  the  conqueror  can  disregard,  imposes  these  re- 
straints upon  him,  and  he  cannot  neglect  them  without  injury 
to  his  fame,  and  hazard  to  his  power."* 

*  Peters,  United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  voL  yii. 


In  the  sadly  famous  case  of  the  removal  of  the  Cherokee 
tribe  from  Georgia,  it  is  recorded  as  the  opinion  of  our  Su- 
preme Court  that  "the  Indians  are  acknowledged  to  have  an 
unquestionable,  and  heretofore  unquestioned,  right  to  the  lands 
they  occupy  until  that  right  shall  be  extinguished  by  a  volun- 
tary cession  to  the  Government."  *  *  *  "  The  Indian  nations 
have  always  been  considered  as  distinct  independent  political 
communities,  retaining  their  original  natural  rights  as  the  un- 
disputed possessors  of  the  soil,  from  time  immemorial,  with  the 
single  exception  of  that  imposed  by  irresistible  power,  which 
excluded  them  from  intercourse  with  any  other  European  po- 
tentate than  the  first  discoverer  of  the  coast  of  the  particular 
region  claimed;  and  this  was  a  restriction  which  those  Eu- 
ropean potentates  imposed  on  themselves  as  well  as  on  the 
Indians.  '  The  veiy  term  c  nation,'  so  generally  applied  to 
them,  means  'a  people  distinct  from  others.'  The  Constitu- 
tion, by  declaring  treaties  already  made,  as  well  as  those  to  bo 
made,  to  be  the  supreme  law  of  the  land,  has  adopted  and 
sanctioned  the  previous  treaties  with  the  Indian  nations,  and 
consequently  admits  their  rank  among  those  powers  who  are 
capable  of  making  treaties.  The  words  'treaty'  and  *  na- 
tion' are  words  of  our  own  language,  selected  in  our  diplo- 
matic and  legislative  proceedings  by  ourselves,  having  each  a 
definite  and  well  understood  meaning.  We  have  applied  them 
to  Indians  as  we  have  applied  them  to  other  nations  of  the, 
earth.  They  are  applied  to  all  in  the  same  sense."* 

In  another  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  we  find  still 
greater  emphasis  put  upon  the  Indian  right  of  occupancy,  by 
stating  it  as  a  right,  the  observance  of  which  was  stipulated  for 
in  treaties  between  the  United  States  and  other  nations. 

"  When  the  United  States  acquired  and  took  possession  of 
the  Floridas,  the  treaties  which  had  been  made  with  the  Indian 

*  Worcester  vs.  State  of  Georgia,  6  Peters,  515. 


tribes  before  the  acquisition  of  the  territory  by  Spain  and 
Great  Britain  remained  in  force  over  all  the  ceded  territory,  as 
the  law  which  regulated  the  relations  with  all  the  Indians  who 
were  parties  to  them,  and  were  binding  on  the  United  States 
by  the  obligation  they  had  assumed  by  the  Louisiana  treaty  as 
a  supreme  law  of  the  land. 

"  The  treaties  with  Spain  and  England  before  the  acquisition 
of  Florida  by  the  United  States,  which  guaranteed  to  the  Sem- 
inole  Indians  their  lands,  according  to  the  right  of  property 
with  which  they  possessed  them,  were  adopted  by  the  United 
States,  who  thus  became  the  protectors  of  all  the  rights  they 
(the  Indians)  had  previously  enjoyed,  or  could  of  right  enjoy, 
under  Great  Britain  or  Spain,  as  individuals  or  nations,  by  any 
treaty  to  which  the  United  States  thus  became  parties  in 
1803.  *  *  * 

"  The  Indian  right  to  the  lands  as  property  was  not  merely 
of  possession ;  that  of  alienation  was  concomitant ;  both  were 
equally  secured,  protected,  and  guaranteed  by  Great  Britain 
and  Spain,  subject  only  to  ratification  and  confirmation  by  the 
license,  charter,  or  deed  from  the  government  representing  the 
king."  *  *  * 

The  laws  made  it  necessary,  when  the  Indians  sold  their 
lands,  to  have  the  deeds  presented  to  the  governor  for  confir- 
mation. The  sales  by  the  Indians  transferred  the  kind  of  right 
which  they  possessed ;  the  ratification  of  the  sale  by  the  gov- 
ernor must  be  regarded  as  a  relinquishment  of  the  title  of 
the  Crown  to  the  purchaser,  and  no  instance  is  known  of  re- 
fusal of  permission  to  sell,  or  of  the  rejection  of  an  Indian 

"The  colonial  charters,  a  great  portion  of  the  individual 
grants  by  the  proprietary  and  royal  governments,  and  a  still 
greater  portion  by  the  States  of  the  Union  after  the  Revolu- 

*  United  States  vs.  Clark,  9  Peters,  168. 


tion,  were  made  for  lands  within  the  Indian  hunting-grounds, 
North  Carolina  and  Virginia,  to  a  great  extent,  paid  their  of- 
ficers and  soldiers  of  the  [Revolutionary  War  by  such  grants, 
and  extinguished  the  arrears  due  the  army  by  similar  means. 
It  was  one  of  the  great  resources  which  sustained  the  war,  not 
only  by  those  States  but  by  other  States.  The  ultimate  fee, 
encumbered  with  the  right  of  occupancy,  was  in  the  Crown 
previous  to  the  [Revolution,  and  in  the  States  afterward,  and 
subject  to  grant.  This  right  of  occupancy  was  protected  by 
the  political  power,  and  respected  by  the  courts  until  extin- 
guished." *  *  *  "  So  the  Supreme  Court  and  the  State  courts 
have  uniformly  held."* 

President  Adams,  in  his  Message  of  1828,  thus  describes  the 
policy  of  the  United  States  toward  the  Indians  at  that  time : 

"At  the  establishment  of  the  Federal  Government  the  prin- 
ciple was  adopted  of  considering  them  as  foreign  and  inde- 
pendent powers,  and  also  as  proprietors  of  lands.  As  inde- 
pendent powers,  we  negotiated  with  them  by  treaties ;  as  pro- 
prietors, we  purchased  of  them  all  the  land  which  we  could 
prevail  on  them  to  sell ;  as  brethren  of  the  human  race,  rude 
and  ignorant,  we  endeavored  to  bring  them  to  the  knowledge 
of  religion  and  letters." 

Kent  says :  "  The  European  nations  which,  respectively,  es- 
tablished colonies  in  America,  assumed  the  ultimate  dominion 
to  be  in  themselves,  and  claimed  the  exclusive  right  to  grant  a 
title  to  the  soil,  subject  only  to  the  Indian  right  of  occupancy. 
The  natives  were  admitted  to  be  the  rightful  occupants  of  the 
soil,  with  a  legal  as  well  as  just  claim  to  retain  possession  of 
it,  and  to  use  it  according  to  their  own  discretion,  though  not 
to  dispose  of  the  soil  at -their  own  will,  except  to  the  govern- 
ment claiming  the  right  of  pre-emption."  *  *  *  "  The  United 
States  adopted  the  same  principle;  and  their  exclusive  right  to 

*  Clark  vs.  Smith,  13  Peters. 


extinguish  the  Indian  title  by  purchase  or  conquest,  and  to 
grant  the  soil  and  exercise  such  a  degree  of  sovereignty  as  cir- 
cumstances required,  has  never  been  judicially  questioned." 

Kent  also  says,  after  giving  the  Supreme  Court  decision  in 
the  case  of  Johnson  vs.  M'Intosh :  "  The  same  court  has  since 
been  repeatedly  called  upon  to  discuss  and  decide  great  ques- 
tions concerning  Indian  rights  and  title,  and  the  subject  has  of 
late  become  exceedingly  grave  and  momentous,  affecting  the 
faith  and  the  character,  if  not  the  tranquillity  and  safety,  of 
the  Government  of  the  United  States." 

In  Gardner's  "  Institutes  of  International  Law  "  the  respec- 
tive rights  to  land  of  the  Indians  and  the  whites  are  thus 
summed  up :  "  In  our  Union  the  aborigines  had  only  a  pos- 
sessory title,  and  in  the  original  thirteen  States  each  owned  in 
fee,  subject  to  the  Indian  right,  all  ungranted  lands  within  their 
respective  limits;  and  beyond  the  States  the  residue  of  the 
ungranted  lands  were  vested  in  fee  in  the  United  States,  sub- 
ject to  the  Indian  possessory  right,  to  the  extent  of  the  national 

Dr.  Walker,  in  his  "American  Law,"  makes  a  still  briefer 
summary :  "  The  American  doctrine  on  the  subject  of  Indian 
title  is  briefly  this :  The  Indians  have  no  fee  in  the  lands  they 
occupy.  The  fee  is  in  the  Government.  They  cannot,  of 
course,  aliene  them  either  to  nations  or  individuals,  the  ex- 
clusive right  of  pre-emption  being  in  the  Government  Yet 
they  have  a  qualified  right  of  occupancy  which  can  only  be  ex- 
tinguished by  treaty,  and  upon  fair  compensation;  until  which 
they  are  entitled  to  be  protected  in  their  possession." 

"Abbott's  Digest,"  one  of  the  very  latest  authorities,  reiter- 
ates the  same  principle:  "The  right  of  occupancy  has  been 
recognized  in  countless  ways,  among  others  by  many  decisions 
of  courts  and  opinions  of  attorney-generals." 

It  being  thus  established  that  the  Indian's  "  right  of  occu- 
pancy" in  his  lands  was  a  right  recognized  by  all  the  Great 


Powers  discovering  this  continent,  and  accepted  by  them  as  a 
right  necessary  to  be  extinguished  either  by  purchase  or  con- 
quest, and  that  the  United  States,  as  a  nation,  has  also  from 
the  beginning  recognized,  accepted,  and  acted  upon  this  theory, 
it  is  next  in  order  to  inquire  whether  the  United  States  has 
dealt  honorably  or  dishonorably  by  the  Indians  in  this  matter 
of  their  recognized  "  right  of  occupancy." 

In  regard  to  the  actions  of  individuals  there  is  rarely  much 
room  for  discussion  whether  they  be  honorable  or  dishonor- 
able, the  standard  of  honor  in  men's  conduct  being,  among 
the  civilized,  uniform,  well  understood,  and  undisputed.  Steal- 
ing, for  instance,  is  everywhere  held  to  be  dishonorable,  as 
well  as  impolitic;  lying,  also,  in  all  its  forms;  breaking  of 
promises  and  betrayals  of  trust  are  scorned  even  among  the 
most  ignorant  people.  But  when  it  comes  to  the  discussion  of 
the  acts  of  nations,  there  seems  to  be  less  clearness  of  concep- 
tion, less  uniformity  of  standard  of  right  and  wrong,  honor 
and  dishonor.  It  is  necessary,  therefore,  in  charging  a  gov- 
ernment or  nation  with  dishonorable  conduct,  to  show  that 
its  moral  standard  ought  in  nowise  to  differ  from  the  moral 
standard  of  an  individual ;  that  what  is  cowardly,  cruel,  base 
in  a  man,  is  cowardly,  cruel,  base  in  a  government  or  nation. 
To  do  this,  it  is  only  needful  to  look  into  the  history  of  the 
accepted  "  Law  of  Nations,"  from  the  days  of  the  Emperor 
Justinian  until  now. 

The  Roman  jurisconsults  employed  as  synonymous,  says 
Wheaton,  uthe  two  expressions,  'jus  gentium,'  that  law  which 
is  found  among  all  the  known  nations  of  the  earth,  and  '  jus 
naturale,'  founded  on  the  general  nature  of  mankind ;  never- 
theless, of  these  two  forms  of  the  same  idea,  the  first  ought  to 
be  considered  as  predominant,  since  it  as  well  as  the  'jus  civile' 
was  a  positive  law,  the  origin  and  development  of  which  must 
be  sought  for  in  history." 

Nations  heing  simply,  as  Vattel  defines  them,  "  societies  of 


men  united  together,"  it  is  plain  that,  if  there  be  such  a  thing 
as  the  "  law  of  nature,"  which  men  as  individuals  arc  bound  to 
obey,  that  law  is  also  obligatory  on  the  "  societies "  made  up 
of  men  thus  "  united." 

Hobbes  divides  the  law  of  nature  into  that  of  man  and  that 
of  States,  saying,  "  The  maxims  of  each  of  these  laws  are  pre- 
cisely the  same ;  but  as  States,  once  established,  assume  per- 
sonal properties,  that  which  is  termed  the  natural  law  when  we 
speak  of  the  duties  of  individuals  is  called  the  law  of  nations 
when  applied  to  whole  nations  or  States."  The  Emperor  Jus- 
tinian said,  "The  law  of  nations  is  common  to  the  whole  hu- 
man race." 

Grotius  draws  the  distinction  between  the  law  of  nature  and 
the  law  of  nations  thus :  "  When  several  persons  at  different 
times  and  in  various  places  maintain  the  same  thing  as  certain, 
such  coincidence  of  sentiment  must  be  attributed  to  some  gen- 
eral cause.  Now,  in  the.  questions  before  us,  that  cause  must 
necessarily  be  one  or  the  other  of  these  two — either  a  just  con- 
sequence drawn  from  natural  principles,  or  a  universal  consent ; 
the  former  discovers  to  us  the  law  of  nature,  and  the  latter  the 
law  of  nations." 

Vattel  defines  the  "necessary  law  of  nations"  to  be  the  "ap- 
plication of  the  law  of  nature  to  nations."  He  says :  "  It  is 
*  necessary,7  because  nations  are  absolutely  bound  to  observe  it. 
This  law  contains  the  precepts  prescribed  by  the  law  of  nature 
to  States,  on  whom  that  law  is  not  less  obligatory  than  on  indi- 
viduals; since  States  are  composed  of  men,  their  resolutions  are 
taken  by  men,  and  the  law  of  nations  is  binding  on  all  men, 
under  whatever  relation  they  act.  This  is  the  law  which 
Grotius,  and  those  who  follow  him,  call  the  Internal  Law  of 
Nations,  on  account  of  its  being  obligatory  on  nations  in  the 
point  of  conscience." 

Vattel  says  again :  "  Nations  being  composed  of  men  natural- 
ly free  and  independent,  and  who  before  the  establishment  of 


Powers  discovering  this  continent,  and  accepted  by  them  as  a 
right  necessary  to  be  extinguished  either  by  purchase  or  con- 
quest, and  that  the  United  States,  as  a  nation,  has  also  from 
the  beginning  recognized,  accepted,  and  acted  upon  this  theory, 
it  is  next  in  order  to  inquire  whether  the  United  States  has 
dealt  honorably  or  dishonorably  by  the  Indians  in  this  matter 
of  their  recognized  "  right  of  occupancy." 

In  regard  to  the  actions  of  individuals  there  is  rarely  much 
room  for  discussion  whether  they  be  honorable  or  dishonor- 
able, the  standard  of  honor  in  men's  conduct  being,  among 
the  civilized,  uniform,  well  understood,  and  undisputed.  Steal- 
ing, for  instance,  is  everywhere  held  to  be  dishonorable,  as 
well  as  impolitic;  lying,  also,  in  all  its  forms;  breaking  of 
promises  and  betrayals  of  trust  are  scorned  even  among  the 
most  ignorant  people.  But  when  it  comes  to  the  discussion  of 
the  acts  of  nations,  there  seems  to  be  less  clearness  of  concep- 
tion, less  uniformity  of  standard  of  right  and  wrong,  honor 
and  dishonor.  It  is  necessary,  therefore,  in  charging  a  gov- 
ernment or  nation  with  dishonorable  conduct,  to  show  that 
its  moral  standard  ought  in  nowise  to  differ  from  the  moral 
standard  of  an  individual ;  that  what  is  cowardly,  cruel,  base 
in  a  man,  is  cowardly,  cruel,  base  in  a  government  or  nation. 
To  do  this,  it  is  only  needful  to  look  into  the  history  of  the 
accepted  "  Law  of  Nations,"  from  the  days  of  the  Emperor 
Justinian  until  now. 

The  Eoman  jurisconsults  employed  as  synonymous,  says 
Wheaton,  "the  two  expressions,  'jus  gentium,'  that  law  which 
is  found  among  all  the  known  nations  of  the  earth,  and  *  jus 
naturale,'  founded  on  the  general  nature  of  mankind ;  never- 
theless, of  these  two  forms  of  the  same  idea,  the  first  ought  to 
be  considered  as  predominant,  since  it  as  well  as  the  'jus  civile' 
was  a  positive  law,  the  origin  and  development  of  which  must 
be  sought  for  in  history." 
Nations  being  simply,  as  Vattel  defines  them,  "  societies  of 


men  united  together,"  it  is  plain  that,  if  there  be  such  a  thing 
as  the  "  law  of  nature,"  which  men  as  individuals  are  bound  to 
obey,  that  law  is  also  obligatory  on  the  "  societies  "  made  up 
of  men  thus  "  united." 

Hobbes  divides  the  law  of  nature  into  that  of  man  and  that 
of  States,  saying,  "  The  maxims  of  each  of  these  laws  are  pre- 
cisely the  same ;  but  as  States,  once  established,  assume  per- 
sonal properties,  that  which  is  termed  the  natural  law  when  we 
speak  of  the  duties  of  individuals  is  called  the  law  of  nations 
when  applied  to  whole  nations  or  States."  The  Emperor  Jus- 
tinian said,  "  The  law  of  nations  is  common  to  the  whole  hu- 
man race." 

Grotius  draws  the  distinction  between  the  law  of  nature  and 
the  law  of  nations  thus :  "  When  several  persons  at  different 
times  and  in  various  places  maintain  the  same  thing  as  certain, 
such  coincidence  of  sentiment  must  be  attributed  to  some  gen- 
eral cause.  Now,  in  the.  questions  before  us,  that  cause  must 
necessarily  be  one  or  the  other  of  these  two — either  a  just  con- 
sequence drawn  from  natural  principles,  or  a  universal  consent ; 
the  former  discovers  to  us  the  law  of  nature,  and  the  latter  the 
law  of  nations." 

Vattel  defines  the  "necessary  law  of  nations"  to  be  the  "ap- 
plication of  the  law  of  nature  to  nations."  He  says :  "  It  is 
1  necessary,'  because  nations  are  absolutely  bound  to  observe  it. 
This  law  contains  the  precepts  prescribed  by  the  law  of  nature 
to  States,  on  whom  that  law  is  not  less  obligatory  than  on  indi- 
viduals ;  since  States  are  composed  of  men,  their  resolutions  are 
taken  by  men,  and  the  law  of  nations  is  binding  on  all  men, 
under  whatever  relation  they  act.  This  is  the  law  which 
Grotius,  and  those  who  follow  him,  call  the  Internal  Law  of 
Nations,  on  account  of  its  being  obligatory  on  nations  in  the 
point  of  conscience." 

Vattel  says  again:  "  Nations  being  composed  of  men  natural- 
ly free  and  independent,  and  who  before  the  establishment  of 


civil  societies  lived  together  in  the  state  of  nature,  nations  or 
sovereign  States  are  to  be  considered  as  so  many  free  persons 
jiving  together  in  the  state  of  nature." 

And  again :  "  Since  men  are  naturally  equal,  and  a  perfect 
equality  prevails  in  their  right  and  obligations  as  equally  pro- 
ceeding from  nature,  nations  composed  of  men,  and  considered 
as  so  many  free  persons  living  together  in  the  state  of  nature, 
are  naturally  equal,  and  inherit  from  nature  the  same  obliga- 
tions and  rights.  Power  or  weakness  docs  not  in  this  respect 
produce  any  difference.  A  dwarf  is  as  much  a  man  as  a  giant ; 
a  small  republic  no  less  a  sovereign  State  than  the  most  power- 
ful kingdom." 

In  these  two  last  sentences  is  touched  the  key-note  of  the 
true  law  of  nations,  as  well  as  of  the  true  law  for  individuals — 
justice.  There  is  among  some  of  the  later  writers  on  juris- 
prudence a  certain  fashion  of  condescending  speech  in  their 
quotations  from  Vattel.  As  years  have  gone  on,  and  States 
have  grown  more  powerful,  and  their  relations  more  compli- 
cated by  reason  of  selfishness  and  riches,  less  and  less  has  been 
said  about  the  law  of  nature  as  a  component  and  unalterable 
part  of  the  law  of  nations.  Fine  subtleties  of  definition,  of 
limitation  have  been  attempted.  Hundreds  of  pages  are  full 
of  apparently  learned  discriminations  between  the  parts  of  that 
law  which  are  based  on  the  law  of  nature  and  the  parts  which 
are  based  on  the  consent  and  usage  of  nations.  But  the  two 
cannot  be  separated  No  amount  of  legality  of  phrase  can  do 
away  with  the  inalienable  truth  underlying  it.  Wheaton  and 
President  Woolsey  to-day  say,  in  effect,  the  same  thing  which 
Grotius  said  in  1615,  and  Vattel  in  1758. 

Says  Wheaton:  "International  law,  as  understood  among 

civilized  nations,  may  be  defined  as  consisting  of  those  rules  of 

conduct  which  reason  deduces  as  consonant  to  justice  from  the 

nature  of  the  society  existing  among  independent  nations." 

President  Woolsey  says:  "International  law,  in  a  wide  and 


abstract  sense,  would  embrace  those  rules  of  intercourse  be- 
tween nations  which  are  deduced  from  their  rights  and  moral 
claims ;  or,  in  other  words,  it  is  the  expression  of  the  jural 
and  moral  relations  of  States  to  one  another. 

"  If  international  law  were  not  made  up  of  rules  for  which 
reasons  could  be  given  satisfactory  to  man's  intellectual  and 
moral  nature,  if  it  were  not  built  on  principles  of  right,  it 
would  be  even  less  of  a  science  than  is  the  code  which  governs 
the  actions  of  polite  society," 

It  is  evident,  therefore,  that  the  one  fundamental  right,  of 
which  the  "law  of  nations"  is  at  once  the  expression  and  the 
guardian,  is  the  right  of  every  nation  to  just  treatment  from 
other  nations,  the  right  of  even  the  smallest  republic  equally 
with  "  the  most  powerful  kingdom."  Just  as  the  one  funda- 
mental right,  of  which  civil  law  is  the  expression  and  guardian, 
is  the  right  of  each  individual  to  just  treatment  from  every 
other  individual :  a  right  indefeasible,  inalienable,  in  nowise 
lessened  by  weakness  or  strengthened  by  power — as  majestic 
in  the  person  of  "the  dwarf"  as  in  that  of  "the  giant." 

Of  justice,  Vattel  says :  "  Justice  is  the  basis  of  all  society, 
the  sure  bond  of  all  commerce.  *  *  * 

"  All  nations  are  under  a  strict  obligation  to  cultivate  justice 
toward  each  other,  to  observe  it  scrupulously  and  carefully, 
to  abstain  from  anything  that  may  violate  it.  *  *  * 

"  The  right  of  refusing  to  submit  to  injustice,  of  resisting 
injustice  by  force  if  necessary,  is  part  of  the  law  of  nature,  and 
as  such  recognized  by  the  law  of  nations. 

"  In  vain  would  Nature  give  us  a  right  to  refuse  submitting 
to  injustice,  in  vain  would  she  oblige  others  to  be  just  in  their 
dealings  with  us,  if  we  could  not  lawfully  make  use  of  force 
when  they  refused  to  discharge  this  duty.  The  just  would  lie 
at  the  mercy  of  avarice  and  injustice,  and  all  their  rights  would 
soon  become  useless.  From  the  foregoing  right  arise,  as  two 
distinct  branches,  first,  the  right  of  a  just  defence,  which  be- 


longs  to  every  nation,  or  the  right  of  making  war  against  who- 
ever attacks  her  and  her  rights;  and  this  is  the  foundation  of 
defensive  war.  Secondly,  the  right  to  obtain  justice  by  force, 
if  we  cannot  obtain  it  otherwise,  or  to  pursue  our  right  by  force 
of  arms.  This  is  the  foundation  of  offensive  TOr." 

Justice  is  pledged  by  men  to  each  other  by  means  of  prom- 
ises or  contracts ;  what  promises  and  contracts  are  between 
men,  treaties  are  between  nations. 

President  Woolsey  says:  "A  contract  is  one  of  the  highest 
acts  of  human  free-will :  it  is  the  will  binding  itself  in  regard 
to  the  future,  and  surrendering  its  right  to  change  a  certain 
expressed  intention,  so  that  it  becomes3  morally  and  jurally,  a 
wrong  to  act  otherwise. 

"  National  contracts  are  even  more  solemn  and  sacred  than 
private  ones,  on  account  of  the  great  interests  involved ;  of  the 
deliberateness  with  which  the  obligations  are  assumed ;  of  the 
permanence  and  generality  of  the  obligations,  measured  by  the 
national  life,  and  including  thousands  of  particular  cases ;  and 
of  each  nation's  calling,  under  God,  to  be  a  teacher  of  right  to 
all,  within  and  without  its  borders.'* 

Vattel  says :  "  It  is  a  settled  point  in  natural  law  that  he 
who  has  made  a  promise  to  any  one  has  conferred  upon  him  a 
real  right  to  require  the  thing  promised ;  and,  consequently, 
that  the  breach  of  a  perfect  promise  is  a  violation  of  another 
person's  right,  and  as  evidently  an  act  of  injustice  as  it  would 
be  to  rob  a  man  of  his  property.  *  *  * 

"  There  would  110  longer  be  any  security,  no  longer  any  com- 
merce between  mankind,  if  they  did  not  think  themselves  obliged 
to  keep  faith  with  each  other,  and  to  perform  their  promises." 
It  is  evident  that  the  whole  weight  of  the  recognised  and 
accepted  law  of  nations  is  thrown  on  the  side  of  justice  be- 
tween nation  and  nation,  and  is  the  recognized  and  accepted 
standard  of  the  obligation  involved  in  compacts  between  na- 
tion and  nation. 


We  must  look,  then,  among  the  accepted  declarations  of  the 
law  of  nations  for  the  just  and  incontrovertible  measure  of  the 
shame  of  breaking  national  compacts,  and  of  the  wickedness  of 
the  nations  that  dare  to  do  it. 

We  shall  go  back  to  the  earliest  days  of  the  world,  and  find 
no  dissent  from,  no  qualification  of  the  verdict  of  the  infamy 
of  such  acts.  Livy  says  of  leagues :  "  Leagues  are  such  agree- 
ments as  are  made  by  the  command  of  the  supreme  power,  and 
whereby  the  whole  nation  is  made  liable  to  the  wrath  of  God 
if  they  infringe  it." 

Grotius  opens  his  "Admonition,"  in  conclusion  of  the  third 
book  of  his  famous  "  Rights  of  War  and  Peace,"  as  follows : 
" t  For  it  is  by  faith,'  saith  Cicero,  '  that  not  commonwealths 
only,  but  that  grand  society  of  nations  is  maintained.'  *  Take 
away  this,'  saith  Aristotle,  'and  all  human  commerce  fails.' 
It  is,  therefore,  an  execrable  thing  to  break  faith  on  which  so 
many  lives  depend.  'It  is,'  saith  Seneca,  'the  best  ornament 
wherewith  God  hath  beautified  the  rational  soul ;  the  strongest 
support  of  human  society,  which  ought  so  much  the  more  in- 
violably to  be  kept  by  sovereign  princes  by  how  much  they 
may  sin  with  greater  license  and  impunity  than  other  men. 
Wherefore  take  away  faith,  and  men  are  more  fierce  and  cruel 
than  savage  beasts,  whose  rage  all  men  do  horribly  dread.  Jus- 
tice, indeed,  in  all  other  of  her  parts  hath  something  that  is 
obscure ;  but  that  whereunto  we  engage  our  faith  is  of  itself 
clear  and  evident ;  yea,  and  to  this  very  end  do  men  pawn 
their  faith,  that  in  their  negotiations  one  with  another  all 
doubts  may  be  taken  away,  and  every  scruple  removed.  How 
much  more,  then,  doth  it  concern  kings  to  keep  their  faith  in- 
violate, as  well  for  conscience'  sake  as  in  regard  to  their  honor 
and  reputation,  wherein  consists  the  authority  of  a  king- 
dom.' " 

Vattol  says :  "  Treaties  are  no  better  than  empty  words,  if 
nations  do  not  consider  them  as  respectable  engagements,  as 


rules  which  are  to  be  inviolably  observed  by  sovereigns,  aiid 
held  sacred  throughout  the  whole  earth. 

"  The  faith  of  treaties — that  firm  and  sincere  resolution,  that 
invariable  constancy  in  fulfilling  our  engagements,  of  which  we 
make  profession  in  a  treaty — is  therefore  to  be  held  sacred  and 
inviolable  between  the  nations  of  the  earth,  whose  safety  and 
repose  it  secures;  and  if  mankind  be  not  wilfully  deficient  in 
their  duty  to  themselves,  infamy  must  ever  be  the  portion  of 
him  who  violates  his  faith.  *  *  * 

"  He  who  violates  his  treaties,  violates  at  the  same  time  the 
law  of  nations,  for  he  disregards  the  faith  of  treaties,  that  faith 
which  the  law  of  nations  declares  sacred ;  and,  so  far  as  de- 
pendent on  him,  he  renders  it  vain  and  ineffectual.  Doubly 
guilty,  he  does  an  injury  to  his  ally,  and  he  does  an  injury  to 
all  nations,  and  inflicts  a  wound  on  the  great  society  of  man- 
kind. *  *  * 

"On  the  observance  and  execution  of  treaties,"  said  a  re- 
spectable sovereign,  "  depends  all  the  security  which  princes 
and  States  have  with  respect  to  each  other,  and  no  dependence 
could  henceforward  be  placed  in  future  conventions  if  the  ex- 
isting ones  were  not  to  be  observed." 

It  is  sometimes  said,  by  those  seeking  to  defend,  or  at  least 
palliate,  the  United  States  Government's  repeated  disregard  of 
its  treaties  with  the  Indians,  that  no  Congress  can  be  held  re- 
sponsible for  the  acts  of  the  Congress  preceding  it,  or  can  bind 
the  Congress  following  it ;  or,  in  other  words,  that  each  Con- 
gress may,  if  it  chooses,  undo  all  that  has  been  done  by  previ- 
ous Congresses.  However  true  this  may  be  of  some  legislative 
acts,  it  is  clearly  not  true,  according  to  the  principles  of  inter- 
national law,  of  treaties. 

On  this  point  Yattel  says :  "  Since  public  treaties,  oven  those 
of  a  personal  nature,  concluded  by  a  king,  or  by  another  sov- 
ereign who  is  invested  with  sufficient  power,  are  treaties  of 
State,  and  obligatory  on  the  whole  nation,  real  treaties,  which 


were  intended  to  subsist  independently  of  the  person  who  has 
concluded  them,  arc  undoubtedly  binding  on  his  successors ; 
and  the  obligation  which  such  treaties  impose  on  the  State 
passes  successively  to  all  her  rulers  as  soon  as  they  assume  the 
public  authority.  The  case  is  the  same  with  respect  to  the 
rights  acquired  by  those  treaties.  They  are  acquired  for  the 
State,  and  successively  pass  to  her  conductors." 

Von  Martens  says :  "  Treaties,  properly  so  called,  are  either 
personal  or  real.  They  are  personal  when  their  continuation 
in  force  depends  on  the  person  of  the  sovereign  or  his  family, 
with  whom  they  have  been  contracted.  They  are  real  when 
their  duration  depends  on  the  State,  independently  of  the  per- 
son who  contracts.  Consequently,  all  treaties  between  repub- 
lics must  be  real.  All  treaties  made  for  a  time  specified  or 
forever  are  real.  *  *  * 

"This  division  is  of  the  greatest  importance,  because  real 
treaties  never  cease  to  be  obligatory,  except  in  cases  where  all 
treaties  become  invalid.  Every  successor  to  the  sovereignty,  in 
virtue  of  whatever  title  he  may  succeed,  is  obliged  to  observe 
them  without  their  being  renewed  at  his  accession." 

Wheaton  says :  "  They  (treaties)  continue  to  bind  the  State, 
whatever  intervening  changes  may  take  place  in  its  internal 
constitution  or  in  the  persons  of  its  rulers.  The  State  contin- 
ues the  same,  notwithstanding  such  change,  and  consequently 
the  treaty  relating  to  national  objects  remains  in  force  so  long 
as  the  nation  exists  as  an  independent  State." 

There  is  no  disagreement  among  authorities  on  this  point. 
It  is  also  said  by  some,  seeking  to  defend  or  palliate  the  Unitr 
ed  States  Government's  continuous  violations  of  its  treaties 
with  the  Indians,  that  the  practice  of  all  nations  has  been  and 
is  to  abrogate  a  treaty  whenever  it  saw  good  reason  for  doing 
so.  This  is  true ;  but  the  treaties  have  been  done  away  with 
in  one  of  two  ways,  either  by  a  mutual  and  peaceful  agreement 
to  that  effect  between  the  parties  who  had  made  it — the  treaty 


being  considered  in  force  until  the  consent  of  both  parties  to 
its  abrogation  had  been  given — or  by  a  distinct  avowal  on  the 
part  of  one  nation  of  its  intention  no  longer  to  abide  by  it, 
and  to  take,  therefore,  its  chances  of  being  made  war  upon  in 
consequence.  Neither  of  these  courses  has  been  pursued  by 
the  United  States  Government  in  its  treaty-breaking  with  the 

Vattel  says,  on  the  dissolution  of  treaties :  "  Treaties  may  be 
dissolved  by  mutual  consent  at  the  free-will  of  the  contracting 

Grotius  says :  "  If  either  party  violate  the  League,  the  other 
party  is  freed;  because  each  Article  of  the  League  hath  the 
form  and  virtue  of  a  condition." 

Kent  says :  "  The  violation  of  any  one  article  of  a  treaty  is 
a  violation  of  the  whole  treaty.  *  *  * 

"It  is  a  principle  of  universal  jurisprudence  that  a  compact 
cannot  he  rescinded  by  one  party  only,  if  the  other  party  docs 
not  consent  to  rescind  it,  and  does  no  act  to  destroy  it.  *  *  * 

"  To  recommence  a  war  by  breach  of  the  articles  of  peace,  is 
deemed  much  more  odious  than  to  provoke  a  war  by  some 
new  demand  or  aggression;  for  the  latter  is  simply  injustice, 
but  in  the  former  case  the  party  is  guilty  both  of  perfidy  and 

It  is  also  said,  with  unanswerable  irrelevancy,  by  some  who 
seek  to  defend  or  palliate  the  United  States  Government's  con- 
tinuous violation  of  its  treaties  with  the  Indians,  that  it  was, 
in  the  first  place,  absurd  to  make  treaties  'with  them  at  all,  to 
consider  them  in  any  sense  as  treaty -making  powers  or  na- 
tions. The  logic  of  this  assertion,  made  as  a  justification  for 
the  breaking  of  several  hundred  treaties,  concluded  at  different 
times  during  the  last  hundred  years,  and  broken  as  fast  as 
concluded,  seems  almost  equal  to  that  of  the  celebrated  de- 
fence in  the  case  of  the  kettle,  which  was  cracked  when  it  was 
lent,  whole  when  returned,  and,  in  fact,  was  never  borrowed  at 


all.  It  would  be  a  waste  of  words  to  reason  with  minds  that 
can  see  in  this  position  any  shelter  for  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment against  the  accusation  of  perfidy  in  its  treaty  relations 
with  the  Indians. 

The  statement  is  undoubtedly  a  true  one,  that  the  Indians, 
having  been  placed  in  the  anomalous  position  as  tribes,  of  "  do- 
mestic dependent  nations,"  and  as  individuals,  in  the  still  more 
anomalous  position  of  adult  "  wards,"  have  not  legally  pos- 
sessed the  treaty-making  power.  Our  right  to  put  them,  or 
to  consider  them  to  be  in  those  anomalous  positions,  might 
be  successfully  disputed ;  but  they,  helpless,  having  accepted 
such  positions,  did,  no  doubt,  thereby  lose  their  right  to  be 
treated  with  as  nations.  Nevertheless,  that  is  neither  here  nor 
there  now  :  as  soon  as  our  Government  was  established,  it  pro- 
ceeded to  treat  with  them  as  nations  by  name  and  designation, 
and  with  precisely  the  same  forms  and  ratifications  that  it  used 
in  treating  with  other  nations ;  and  it  continued  to  treat  with 
them  as  nations  by  name  and  designation,  and  with  continually 
increasing  solemnity  of  asseveration  of  good  intent  and  good 
faith,  for  nearly  a  century.  The  robbery,  the  cruelty  which 
wore  done  under  the  cloak  of  this  hundred  years  of  treaty- 
making  and  treaty  -  breaking,  are  greater  than  can  be  told. 
Neither  mountains  nor  deserts  stayed  them ;  it  took  two  seas 
to  set  their  bounds. 

In  1871,  Congress,  either  ashamed  of  making  treaties  only 
to  break  them,  or  grudging  the  time,  money,  and  paper  it 
wasted,  passed  an  act  to  the  effect  that  no  Indian  tribe  should 
hereafter  be  considered  as  a  foreign  nation  with  whom  the 
United  States  might  contract  by  treaty.  There  seems  to  have 
been  at  the  time,  in  the  minds  of  the  men  who  passed  this 
act,  a  certain  shadowy  sense  of  some  obligation  being  involved 
in  treaties ;  for  they  added  -to  the  act  a  proviso  that  it  should 
not  be  construed  as  invalidating  any  treaties  already  made. 
But  this  sense  of  obligation  must  have  been  as  short-lived  as 


shadowy,  and  could  have  had  no  element  of  shame  in  it,  since 
they  forthwith  proceeded,  unabashed>  to  negotiate  still  more 
treaties  with  Indians,  and  break  them ;  for  instance,  the  so- 
called  "  Brunot  Treaty  "  with  the  Ute  Indians  in  Colorado,  and 
one  with  the  Crow  Indians  in  Montana — both  made  in  the 
summer  of  1873.  They  were  called  at  the  time  "conven- 
tions "  or  "  agreements,"  and  not  "  treaties ;"  but  the  differ- 
ence is  only  in  name. 

They  stated,  in  a  succession  of  numbered  articles,  promises 
of  payment  of  moneys,  and  surrenders  and  cessions  of  land, 
by  both  parties ;  were  to  be  ratified  by  Congress  before  taking 
effect ;  and  were  understood  by  the  Indians  agreeing  to  them 
to  be  as  binding  as  if  they  had  been  called  treaties.  The  fact 
that  no  man's  sense  of  justice  openly  revolted  against  such 
subterfuges,  under  the  name  of  agreements,  is  only  to  be  ex- 
plained by  the  deterioration  of  the  sense  of  honor  in  the  na- 
tion. In  the  days  of  Grotius  there  were  men  who  failed  to 
see  dishonor  in  a  trick  if  profit  came  of  it,  and  of  such  ho 
wrote  in  words  whose  truth  might  sting  to-day  as,  no  doubt, 
it  stung  then : 

"  Whereas  there  are  many  that  think  it  superfluous  to  re- 
quire that  justice  from  a  free  people  or  their  governors  which 
they  exact  daily  from  private  men,  the  ground  of  this  error  is 
this:  because  these  men  respect  nothing  in  the  law  but  the 
profit  that  ariseth  from  it,  which  in  private  persons,  being 
single  and  unable  to  defend  themselves,  is  plain  and  evident ; 
but  for  great  cities,  that  seem  to  have  within  themselves  all 
things  necessary  for  their  own  well-being,  it  doth  not  so  plain- 
ly appear  that  they  have  any  need  of  that  virtue  called  jus- 
tice which  respects  strangers." 

These  extracts  from  unquestioned  authorities  on  internation- 
al law  prove  that  we  may  hold  nations  to  standards  of  justice 
and  good  faith  as  we  hold  men ;  that  tie  standards  arc  the 
same  in  each  case ;  and  that  a  nation  that  steals  and  lies  and 


breaks  promises,  will  no  more  be  respected  or  unj^g  ag  fljege 
a  man  who  steals  and  lies  and  breaks  promises,     JLIJ  ?  79 
to  go  still  farther  than  this,  and  to  show  that  a  nat,c      e  Qr 
ally  guilty  of  such  conduct  might  properly  be  dealt  ^ycg-fcern 
for  by  other  nations,  by  nations  in  nowise  suffering  on  ^hen 
of  her  bad  faith,  except  as  all  nations  suffer  when  the  iu  ^ 
of  human  society  are  injured.  ^  0£ 

"The  interest  of  human  society,"  says  Vattel,  "  would r(j 
thorize  all  the  other  nations  to  form  a  confederacy,  in  order  ^ 
humble  and  chastise  the  delinquent."  *  *  *  When  a  natio 
"regards  no  right  as  sacred,  the  safety  of  the  human  race  re« 
quires  that  she  should  be  repressed.     To  form  and  support  an 
unjust  pretension  is  not  only  doing  an  injury  to  the  party 
whose  interests  are  affected  by  that  pretension ;  but  to  despise 
justice  in  general  is  doing  an  injury  to  all  nations." 

The  history  of  the  United  States  Government's  repeated  vio- 
lations of  faith  with  the  Indians  thus  convicts  us,  as  a  nation, 
not  only  of  having  outraged  the  principles  of  justice,  which  are 
the  basis  of  international  law;  and  of  having  laid  ourselves 
open  to  the  accusation  of  both  cruelty  and  perfidy;  but  of 
having  made  ourselves  liable  to  all  punishments  which  follow 
upon  such  sins — to  arbitrary  punishment  at  the  hands  of  any 
civilized  nation  who  might  see  fit  to  call  us  to  account,  and  to 
that  more  certain  natural  punishment  which,  sooner  or  later,  as 
surely  comes  from  evil-doing  as  harvests  come  from  sown  seed. 

To  prove  all  this  it  is  only  necessary  to  study  the  history  of 
any  one  of  the  Indian  tribes.  I  propose  to  give  in  the  follow- 
ing chapters  merely  outline  sketches  of  the  history  of  a  few  of 
them,  not  entering  more  into  details  than  is  necessary  to  show 
the  repeated  broken  faith  of  the  United  States  Government  to- 
ward them.  A  full  history  of  the  wrongs  they  have  suffered 
at  the  hands  of  tlio  authorities,  military  and  civil,  and  also  of 
the  citizens  of  this  country,  it  would  take  years  to  write  and 
volumes  to  hold. 


shadowy,  and  could  have  had  no  element  of  shame  in  it,  since 
they  forthwith  proceeded,  unabashed,  to  negotiate  still  more 
treaties  with  Indians,  and  break  them ;  for  instance,  the  so- 
called  "  Brunot  Treaty  "  with  the  TJte  Indians  in  Colorado,  and 
one  with  the  Crow  Indians  in  Montana — both  made  in  the 
summer  of  1873.  They  were  called  at  the  time  "conven- 
tions" or  "agreements,"  and  not  "treaties;"  but  the  differ- 
ence is  only  in  name. 

They  stated,  iii  a  succession  of  numbered  articles,  promises 
of  payment  of  moneys,  and  surrenders  and  cessions  of  land, 
by  both  parties ;  .were  to  be  ratified  by  Congress  before  taking 
effect ;  and  were  understood  by  the  Indians  agreeing  to  them 
to  be  as  binding  as  if  they  had  been  called  treaties.  The  fact 
that  no  man's  sense  of  justice  openly  revolted  against  such 
subterfuges,  under  the  name  of  agreements,  is  only  to  be  ex- 
plained by  the  deterioration  of  the  sense  of  honor  in  the  na- 
tion. In  the  days  of  Grotius  there  were  men  who  failed  to 
see  dishonor  in  a  tiick  if  profit  came  of  it,  and  of  such  ho 
wrote  in  words  whose  truth  might  sting  to-day  as,  no  doubt, 
it  stung  then : 

"Whereas  there  are  many  that  think  it  superfluous  to  re- 
quire that  justice  from  a  free  people  or  their  governors  which 
they  exact  daily  from  private  men,  the  ground  of  this  error  is 
this:  because  these  men  respect  nothing  in  the  law  but  the 
profit  that  ariseth  from  it,  which  in  private  persons,  being 
single  and  unable  to  defend  themselves,  is  plain  and  evident ; 
but  for  great  cities,  that  seem  to  have  within  themselves  all 
things  necessary  for  their  own  well-being,  it  doth  not  so  plain- 
ly appear  that  they  have  any  need  of  that  virtue  called  jus- 
tice which  respects  strangers." 

These  extracts  from  unquestioned  authorities  on  internation- 
al law  prove  that  we  may  hold  nations  to  standards  of  justice 
and  good  faith  as  we  hold  men ;  that  the  standards  are  the 
same  in  each  case ;  and  that  a  nation  that  steals  and  lies  and 


breaks  promises,  will  no  more  be  respected  or  nnj, 

a  man  who  steals  and  lies  and  breaks  promises.    i?ncis  as  these, 
to  go  still  farther  than  this,  and  to  show  that  a  na$e^-' " 
ally  guilty  of  such  conduct  might  properly  be  dealt  \v-kenape,  or 
for  by  other  nations,  by  nations  in  nowise  suffering  on  Western 
of  her  bad  faith,  except  as  all  nations  suffer  when  the  iu 
of  human  society  are  injured. 

"The  interest  of  human  society,"  says  Vattel,  "would^  of 
thorize  all  the  other  nations  to  form  a  confederacy,  in  orderor^ 
humble  and  chastise  the  delinquent."  *  *  *  When  a  natio10 
"  regards  no  right  as  sacred,  the  safety  of  the  human  race  re^ 
quires  that  she  should  be  repressed.  To  form  and  support  an 
unjust  pretension  is  not  only  doing  an  injury  to  the  party 
whose  interests  are  affected  by  that  pretension ;  but  to  despise 
justice  in  general  is  doing  an  injury  to  all  nations." 

The  history  of  the  United  States  Government's  repeated  vio- 
lations of  faith  with  the  Indians  thus  convicts  us,  as  a  nation, 
not  only  of  having  outraged  the  principles  of  justice,  which  are 
the  basis  of  international  law;  and  of  having  laid  ourselves 
opon  to  the  accusation  of  both  cruelty  and  perfidy ;  but  of 
having  made  ourselves  liable  to  all  punishments  which  follow 
upon  such  sins — to  arbitrary  punishment  at  the  hands  of  any 
civilized  nation  who  might  see  fit  to  call  us  to  account,  and  to 
that  more  certain  natural  punishment  which,  sooner  or  later,  as 
surely  comes  from  evil-doing  as  harvests  come  from  sown  seed. 

To  prove  all  this  it  is  only  necessary  to  study  the  history  of 
any  one  of  the  Indian  tribes.  I  propose  to  give  in  the  follow- 
ing chapters  merely  outline  sketches  of  the  history  of  a  few  of 
them,  not  entering  more  into  details  than  is  necessary  to  show 
the  repeated  broken  faith  of  the  United  States  Government  to- 
ward tlicm.  A  full  history  of  the  wrongs  they  have  sufferec 
at  the  hands  of  the  authorities,  military  and  civil,  and  also  o! 
the  citizens  of  this  country,  it  would  take  years  to  write  and 
volumes  to  hold. 


shadowy,  and  ut  one  hope  of  righting  this  wrong.  It  lies  in 
they  forthv-  heart  and  the  conscience  of  the  American  people, 
treaties  wi£e°pte  demand,  Congress  will  do.  It  has  been — to 
called  "  B*  be  it  spoken — at  the  demand  of  part  of  the  people 
one  wit" these  wrongs  have  been  committed,  these  treaties  bro- 
summpiese  robberies  done,  by  the  Government. 
tions'l°ng  as  there  remains  on  our  frontier  one  square  mile  of 
ence  occupied  by  a  weak  and  helpless  owner,  there  will  be  a 
rong  and  unscrupulous  frontiersman  ready  to  seize  it,  and  a 
o'eak  and  unscrupulous  politician,  who  can  be  hired  for  a  vote 
x>r  for  money,  to  back  him. 

The  only  thing  that  can  stay  this  is  a  mighty  outspoken 
sentiment  and  purpose  of  the  great  body  of  the  people.    Right 
sentiment  and  right  purpose  in  a  Senator  here  and  there,  and 
a  Representative  here  and  there,  are  little  more  than  straws 
which  make  momentary  eddies,  but  do  not  obstruct  the  tide. 
The  precedents  of  a  century's  unhindered  and  profitable  rob- 
bery have  mounted  up  into  a  very  Gibraltar  of  defence  and 
shelter  to  those  who  care  for  nothing  but  safety  and  gain. 
That  such  precedents  should  be  held,  and  openly  avowed  as 
standards,  is  only  one  more  infamy  added  to  the  list.     Were 
such  logic  employed  in  the  case  of  an  individual  man,  how 
quick  would  all  men  sec  its  enormity.    Suppose  that  a  man 
had  had  the  misfortune  to  be  born  into  a  family  whoso  naino 
had  been  blackened  by  generations  of  criminals ;  that  his  father, 
his  grandfather,  and  his  great-grandfather  before  them  had 
lived  in  prisons,  and  died  on  scaffolds,  should  that  man  say 
in  his  soul,  "Go  to!    What  is  the  use?    I  also  will  commit 
robbery  and  murder,  and  get  the  same  gain  by  it  which  my 
family  must  have  done?"    Or  shall  he  say  in  his  soul,  "God 
help  me  I  I  will  do  what  may  be  within  the  power  of  one 
man,  and  the  compass  of  one  generation,  to  atone  for  the 
wickedness,  and  to  make  clean  the  name  of  my  dishonored 
house  1" 



What  an  opportunity  for  the  Congress  of  1881 
self  with  a  lustre  of  glory,  as  the  first  to  cut  short ends  as  these- 
record  of  cruelties  and  perjuries !  the  first  to  attef 
deem  the  name  of  the  United  States  from  the  stain  LeiiaPe»  or 
tury  of  dishonor  I 




WHEN  Hendrik  Hudson  anchored  his  ship,  the  Half  Moon, 
off  New  York  Island  in  1609,  the  Dclawarcs  stood  in  great 
numbers  on  the  shore  to  receive  him,  exclaiming,  in  their  inno- 
cence, "  Behold !  the  gods  have  come  to  visit  us !" 

More  than  a  hundred  years  later,  the  traditions  of  this  event 
were  still  current  in  the  tribe.  The  aged  Moravian  missionary, 
Heckewelder,  writing  in  1818,  says : 

"I  at  one  time,  in  April,  1787,  was  astonished  when  I  heard1 
one  of  their  orators,  a  great  chief  of  the  Dclawares,  Pachg-nnls- 
chilias  by  name,  go  over  this  ground,  recapitulating  the  most 
extraordinary  events  which  had  before  happened,  and  conclud- 
ing in  these  words :  '  I  admit  that  there  arc  good  white  men, 
but  they  bear  no  proportion  to  the  bad ;  the  bad  must  be  the 
strongest,  for  they  rule.  They  do  what  they  please.  They  en- 
slave those  who  are  not  of  their  color,  although  created  by  the 
same  Great  Spirit  who  created  them.  They  would  make  slaves 
of  us  if  they  could;  but  as  they  cannot  do  it,  they  kill  us. 
There  is  no  faith  to  be  placed  in  their  words.  They  are  not 
like  the  Indians,  who  are  only  enemies  while  at  war,  and  are 
friends  in  peace.  They  will  say  to  an  Indian,  "  My  friend ; 
my  brother!"  They  will  take  him  by  the  hand,  and,  at  the 
same  moment,  destroy  him.  And  so  you'  (he  was  addressing 
himself  to  the  Christian  Indians  at  Gnadcnhuttcn,  Pennsylva- 
nia) '  will  also  be  treated  by  them  before  long.  Remember  thai 


made  that  old  alliance  with  us;  they  having  lost  caste  in 
their  tribe  for  having  fought  on  our  side. 

"It  is  agreed,"  says  the  final  Article  of  the  treaty,  "that  the 
Delaware  chiefs,  Kelelamand,  or  Lieut-colonel  Henry,  Henque 
Pushccs,  or  the  Big  Cat,  and  Wicocalind,  or  Captain  White 
Eyes,  who  took  up  the  hatchet  for  the  United  States,  and  their 
families,  shall  be  received  into  the  Delaware  Nation  in  the  same 
situation  and  rank  as  before  the  war,  and  enjoy  their  due  por- 
tions of  the  lands  given  to  the  Wyandotte  and  Delaware  nations 
in  this  treaty,  as  fully  as  if  they  had  not  taken  part  with  Amer- 
ica, or  as  any  other  person  or  persons  in  the  said  nations." 

This  Captain  White  Eyes  had  adhered  to  our  cause  in  spite 
of  great  opposition  from  the  hostile  part  of  the  tribe.  At  one 
time  he  was  threatened  with  a  violent  death  if  he  should  dare 
to  say  one  word  for  the  American  cause;  but  by  spirited  ha- 
rangues he  succeeded  in  keeping  the  enthusiasm  of  his  own 
party  centred  around  himself,  and  finally  carrying  them  over  to 
the  side  of  the  United  States.  Some  of  his  speeches  are  on  rec- 
ord, and  are  worthy  to  be  remembered : 

"  If  you  will  go  out  in  this  war,"  he  said  to  them  at  one 
time,  when  the  band  were  inclined  to  join  the  British,  "  you 
shall  not  go  without  me.  I  have  taken  peace  measures,  it  is 
true,  with  the  view  of  saving  my  tribe  from  destruction ;  but  if 
you  think  me  in  the  wrong,  if  you  give  more  credit  to  runaway 
vagabonds  than  to  your  own  friends — to  a  man,  to  a  warrior, 
to  a  Delaware — if  you  insist  on  fighting  the  Americans — go ! 
and  I  will  go  with  you.  And  I  will  not  go  like  the  bear-hunt- 
er, who  sets  his  dogs  on  the  animal  to  be  beaten  about  with  his 
paws,  while  he  keeps  himself  at  a  safe  distance.  No ;  I  will 
lead  you  on ;  I  will  place  myself  in  the  front ;  I  will  fall  with 
the  first  of  you !  You  can  do  as  you  choose ;  but  as  for  me,  I 
will  not  survive  my  nation.  I  will  not  live  to  bewail  the  mis- 
erable destruction  of  a  brave  people,  who  deserved,  as  you  do, 
a  better  fate." 


Were  there  many  speeches  made  by  commanders  to  their 
troops  in  thoso  revolutionary  days  with  which  these  words  do 
not  compare  favorably  ? 

This  treaty,  by  which  our  faithful  ally,  Wicocalind,  was  re- 
instated in  his  tribal  rant,  was  made  at  Fort  M'Intosli  in 
1785.  The  Wyandottcs,  Chippewas,  and  Ottawas,  as  well  as 
the  Delawares,  joined  in  it.  They  acknowledged  themselves 
and  all  their  tribes  to  be  "  under  the  protection  of  the  United 
States,  and  of  no  other  sovereign  whatsoever."  The  United 
-S4atesGoverninent  reserved  "the  post  of  Detroit"  and  an 
outlying, district  around  it;  also,  the  post  at  Michilimackinac, 
with  a  sutrounding  district  of  twelve  miles  square,  and  some 
other  reserves  for  trading-posts. 

The  Indians' "fends  were  comprised  within  lines  partly  indi- 
cated by  the  Cuyahoga,  Big  Miami,  and  Ohio  rivers  and  their 
branches;  it  fronted  on  Lake  Erie;  and  if  "any  citizen  of  the 
United  States,"  or  "any  other  person  not  an  Indian,"  attempt- 
ed "to  settle  on  any  of  the  lands  allotted  to  the  Delaware  and 
Wyandotte  nations  in  this  treaty  "—the  fifth  Article  of  the 
treaty  said — "  the  Indians  may  punish  him  as  they  please." 

Michigan,  Ohio,  Indiana,  Pennsylvania*,  all  are  largely  made 
up  of  the  lands  which  were  by  this  first  treaty  given  to  the 

Five  years  later,  by  another  treaty  at  Fort  llarmar,  the  pro- 
visions of  this  treaty  were  reiterated,  the  boundaries  somewhat 
changed  and  more  accurately  defined.  Tho  privilege  of  hunt- 
ing on  all  the  lands  reserved  to  the  United  States  was  prom- 
ised to  the  Indians  "without  hindcranco  or  molestation,  so  long 
as  they  behaved  themselves  peaceably;"  and  "that  nothing 
may  interrupt  the  peace  and  harmony  now  established  between 
the  United  States  and  the  aforesaid  nations,"  it  was  promised 
in  one  of  the  articles  that  white  men  committing  offences  or 
murders  on  Indians  should  be  punished  in  the  same  way  as 
Indians  committing  such  offences. 


The  year  before  this  treaty  Congress  had  resolved  that  "  tho 
sum  of  $20,000,  in  addition  to  the  $14,000  already  appropri- 
ated, be  appropriated  for  defraying  the  expenses  of  the  treaties 
which  have  been  ordered,  or  which  may  be  ordered  to  be  held, 
in  the  present  year,  with  the  several  Indian  tribes  in  the  North- 
ern Department ;  and  for  extinguishing  the  Indian  claims,  the 
whole  of  the  said  $20,000,  together  with  $6000  of  the  said 
$14,000,  to  be  applied  solely  to  the  purpose  of  extinguishing 
Indian  claims  to  the  lands  they  have  already  ceded  to  the 
United  States  by  obtaining  regular  conveyances  for  the  same; 
and  for  extending  a  purchase  beyond  the  limits  hitherto  fixed 
by  treaty." 

Here  is  one  of  the  earliest  records  of  the  principle  and 
method  on  which  the  United  States  Government  first  began 
its  dealings  with.  Indians.  "Regular  conveyances,"  "extin- 
guishing claims"  by  "extending  purchase."  These  are  all 
the  strictest  of  legal  terms,  and  admit  of  no  double  interpre- 

The  Indians  had  been  much  dissatisfied  ever  since  the  first 
treaties  were  made.  They  claimed  that  they  had  been  made 
by  a  few  only,  representing  a  part  of  the  tribe;  and,  in  1786, 
they  had  held  a  great  council  on  the  banks  of  the  Detroit 
River,  and  sent  a  message  to  Congress,  of  which  the  following 
extracts  will  show  the  spirit. 

They  said :  "  It  is  now  more  than  three  years  since  peace 
was  made  between  the  King  of  Great  Britain  and  you ;  but 
we,  the  Indians,  were  disappointed,  finding  ourselves  not  in- 
cluded in  that  peace  according  to  our  expectations,  for  we 
thought  that  its  conclusion  would  have  promoted  a  friendship 
between  the  United  States  and  the  Indians,  and  that  we  might 
enjoy  that  happiness  that  formerly  subsisted  between  us  and 
our  Elder  Brethren.  We  have  received  two  very  agreeable 
messages  from  the  Thirteen  United  States.  We  also  received 
a  message  from  the  king,  whose  war  we  were  engaged  in,  de- 


siring  us  to  remain  quiet,  which  we  accordingly  complied  with. 
During  this  timo  of  tranquillity  we  were  deliberating  the  best 
nethod  we  could  to  form  a  lasting  reconciliation  with  the  Thir- 
teen United  States.  *  *  *  We  arc  still  of  the  same  opinion 
as  to  the  means  which  may  tend  to  reconcile  us  to  each  other ; 
and  we  are  sorry  to  find,  although  we  had  the  best  thoughts 
in  our  minds  during  the  before-mentioned  period,  mischief  has 
nevertheless  happened  between  you  and  us.     We  are  still  anx- 
ious of  putting  our  plan  of  accommodation  into  execution,  and 
we  shall  briefly  inform  you  of  the  means  that  seem  most  prob- 
able to  us  of  effecting  a  firm  and  lasting  peace  and  reconcilia- 
tion, the  first  step  toward  which  should,  in  our  opinion,  be 
that  all  treaties  carried  on  with  the  United  States  on  our  parts 
should  be  with  the  general  will  of  the  whole  confederacy,  and 
carried  on  in  the  most  open  manner,  without  any  restraint  on 
either  side ;  and  especially  as  landed  matters  are  often  the  sub- 
ject of  our  councils  with  you — a  matter  of  the  greatest  impor- 
tance and  of  general  concern  to  us — in  this  case  we  hold  it 
indisputably  necessary  that  any  cession  of  our  lands  should  be 
made  in  the  most  public  manner,  and  by  the  united  voice  of 
the  confederacy,  holding  all  partial  treaties  as  void  and  of  no 
effect.  *  *  *  We  say,  let  us  meet  half-way,  and  let  us  pur- 
sue such  steps  as  become  upright  and  honest  men.     AVe  beg 
that  you  will  prevent  your  surveyors  and  other  people  from 
coming  upon  our  side  of  the  Ohio  River." 

These  are  touching  words,  when  we  remember  that  only 
the  year  before  the  United  States  had  expressly  told  these  In- 
dians that  if  any  white  citizens  attempted  to  settle  on  their 
lands  they  might  "  punish  them  as  they  pleased." 

"  Wo  have  told  you  before  we  wished  to  pursue  just  steps, 
and  we  are  determined  they  shall  appear  just  and  reasonable  in 
the  eyes  of  the  world.  This  is  the  determination  of  all  tho 
chiefs  of  our  confederacy  now  assembled  Lore,  notwithstanding 
the  accidents  that  have  happened  in  our  villages,  oveu  when  in 


council,  where  several  innocent  chiefs  were  lulled  when  abso- 
lutely engaged  in  promoting  a  peace  with  yon,  the  Thirteen 
United  States." 

The  next  year  the  President  instructed  the  governor  of  the 
territory  northwest  of  the  Ohio  to  "  examine  carefully  into  the 
real  temper  of  the  Indian  tribes  "  in  his  department,  and  says : 
"  The  treaties  which  have  been  made  may  be  examined,  but 
must  not  be  departed  from,  unless  a  change  of  boundary  ben- 
eficial to  the  United  States  can  be  obtained."  He  says  also : 
"You  will  not  neglect  any  opportunity  that  may  offer  of  extin- 
guishing the  Indian  rights  to  the  westward,  as  far  as  the  Mis- 

Beyond  that  river  even  the  wildest  dream  of  greed  did  not 
at  that  time  look. 

The  President  adds,  moreover :  "  You  may  stipulate  that  any 
white  persons  going  over  the  said  boundaries  without  a  license 
from  the  proper  officers  of  the  United  States  may  be  treated 
in  such  manner  as  the  Indians  may  see  fit." 

I  have  not  yet  seen,  in  any  accounts  of  the  Indian  hostilities 
on  the  North-western  frontier  during  this  period,  any  reference 
to  those  repeated  permissions  given  by  the  United  States  to 
the  Indians,  to  defend  their  lands  as  they  saw  fit.  Probably 
the  greater  number  of  the  pioneer  settlers  were  as  ignorant  of 
these  provisions  in  Indian  treaties  as  are  the  greater  number  of 
American  citizens  to-day,  who  are  honestly  unaware — and  being 
unaware,  are  therefore  incredulous — that  the  Indians  had  either 
provocation  or  right  to  kill  intruders  on  their  lands. 

At  this  time  separate  treaties  were  made  with  the  Six  Na- 
tions, and  the  governor  says  that  these  treaties  were  made  sep- 
arately because  of  the  jealousy  and  hostility  existing  between 
them  and  the  Dclawares,  Wyandottes,  etc.,  which  he  is  "  not 
willing  to  lessen,"  because  it  weakens  their  power.  "  Indeed," 
ho  frankly  adds,  "it  would  not  be  very  difficult,  if  circum- 
stances required  it,  to  set  them  at  deadly  variance." 


Thus  early  in  our  history  was  the  ingenious  plan  evolved  of 
first  maddening  the  Indians  into  war,  and  then  falling  upon 
them  with  exterminating  punishment.  The  gentleman  who 
has  left  on  the  official  records  of  his  country  his  claim  to  the 
first  suggestion  and  recommendation  of  this  method  is  "Arthur 
Si  Glair,  governor  of  the  territory  of  the  United  States  north- 
west of  the  Ohio  River,  and  commissioner  plenipotentiary  of 
the  United  States  of  America  for  removing  all  causes  of  con- 
troversy, regulating  trade,  and  settling  boundaries  with  the  In- 
dian nations  in  the  Northern  Department." 

Under  all  these  conditions,  it  is  not  a  matter  of  wonder  that 
the  frontier  was  a  scene  of  perpetual  devastation  and  blood- 
shed ;  and  that,  year  by  year,  there  grew  stronger  in  the  minds 
of  the  whites  a  terror  and  hatred  of  Indians ;  and  in  the  minds 
of  the  Indians  a  stronger  and  stronger  distrust  and  hatred  of 
the  whites. 

The  Delawares  were,  through  the  earlier  part  of  these  trou- 
bled times,  friendly.  lu  1791  we  find  the  Secretary  of  War 
recommending  the  commissioners  sent  to  treat  with  the  hostile 
Miamis  and  Wabash  Indians  to  stop  by  the  way  with  the 
friendly  Delawares,  and  take  some  of  their  leading  chiefs  with 
them  as  allies.  He  says,  "those  tribes  arc  our  friends,"  ami, 
as  far  as  is  known,  "the  treaties  have  been  well  observed  by 

But  in  1*792  we  find  them  mentioned  among  the  hostile 
tribes  to  whom  was  sent  a  message  from  the  United  St;te 
Government,  containing  the  following  extraordinary  para- 
graphs : 

"Brethren:  The  President  of  the  United  States  ontrrtnins 
the  opinion  that  the  war  which  exists  is  an  error  and  mist:ilco 
on  your  parts.  That  you  bclievo  the  United  Shitt*  want,  to 
deprive  you  of  your  lands,  and  drive  you  out  of  the  (Country. 
Be  assured  that  this  is  not  so;  on  the  contrary, Dial  wo  should 
be  greatly  gratified  with  the  opportunity  of  hnjourting  to  yuu 


all  the  blessings  of  civilized  life;  of  teaching  you  to  cultivate 
the  earth,  and  raise  corn ;  to  raise  oxen,  sheep,  and  other  do^ 
mestic  animals ;  to  build  comfortable  houses ;  and  to  educate 
your  children  so  as  ever  to  dwell  upon  the  land. 

"  Consult,  therefore,  upon  the  great  object  of  peace ;  call  in 
your  parties,  and  enjoin  a  cessation  of  all  further  depredations; 
and  as  many  of  the  principal  chiefs  as  shall  choose  repair  to 
Philadelphia,  the  seat  of  the  Great  Government,  and  there 
make  a  peace  founded  on  the  principles  of  justice  and  human- 
ity. Remember  that  no  additional  lands  will  be  required  of 
you,  or  any  other  tribe,  to  those  that  have  been  ceded  by  former 

It  was  in  this  same  year,  also,  that  General  Putnam  said  to 
them,  in  a  speech  at  Post  Vincennes :  "  The  United  States 
don't  mean  to  wrong  you  out  of  your  lands.  They  don't 
want  to  take  away  your  lands  by  force.  They  want  to  do  you 
justice."  And  the  venerable  missionary,  Heckewelder,  who  had 
journeyed  all  the  way  from  Bethlehem,  Pennsylvania,  to  try  to 
help  bring  about  peace,  said  to  them,  "  The  great  chief  who 
has  spoken  to  you  is  a  good  man.  He  loves  you,  and  will  al- 
ways speak  the  truth  to  you.  I  wish  you  to  listen  to  his  words, 
and  do  as  he  desires  you." 

In  1793  a  great  council  was  held,  to  which  came  the  chiefs 
and  headmen  of  the  Delawares,  and  of  twelve  other  tribes, 
to  meet  commissioners  of  the  United  States,  for  one  last  ef- 
fort to  settle  the  vexed  boundary  question.    The  records  of 
this  council  arc  profoundly  touching.     The  Indians  reitera- 
ted over  aud  over  the  provisions  of  the  old  treaties  which 
had  established  the  Ohio  River  as  one  of  their  boundaries. 
Their  words  wore  not  the  words  of  ignorant  barbarians,  clum- 
sily and  doggedly  holding  to  a  point ;  they  were  the  words  of 
clear-headed,  statesman-like  rulers,  insisting  on  the  rights  of 
their  nations.     As  the  days  went  on,  and  it  became  more  and 
more  clear  that  the  United  States  commissioners  would  not 


agree  to  the  establishment  of  the  boundary  for  which  the  In- 
dians contended,  the  speeches  of  the  chiefs  grow  sadder  and 
sadder.  Finally,  in  desperation,  as  a  last  hope,  they  propose  to 
the  commissioners  that  all  the  money  which  the  United  States 
offers  to  pay  to  them  for  their  lands  shall  be  given  to  the  white 
settlers  to  induce  them  to  move  away.  They  say : 

"  Money  to  us  is  of  no  value,  and  to  most  of  us  unknown ; 
and  as  no  consideration  whatever  can  induce  us  to  sell  the  lands 
on  which  we  get  sustenance  for  our  -women  and  children,  we 
hope  we  may  be  allowed  to  point  out  a  mode  by  which  your 
settlers  may  he  easily  removed,  and  peace  thereby  obtained. 

"  We  know  that  these  settlers  are  poor,  or  they  would  never 
have  ventured  to  live  in  a  country  which  has  been  in  continual 
trouble  ever  since  they  crossed  the  Ohio.  Divide,  therefore, 
this  large  sum  of  money  which  you  have  offered  us  among 
these  people ;  give  to  each,  also,  a  proportion  of  what  you  say 
you  would  give  to  us  annually,  over  and  above  this  very  large 
sum  of  money,  and  we  are  persuaded  they  would  most  readily 
accept  of  it  in  lieu  of  the  lands  you  sold  them.  If  you  add, 
also,  the  great  sums  you  must  expend  in  raising  and  paying 
armies  with  a  view  to  force  us  to  yield  you  our  country,  you 
will  certainly  have  more  than  sufficient  for  the  purpose  of  re- 
paying these  settlers  for  all  their  labor  and  their  improve- 

"You  have  talked  to  us  about  concessions.  It  appears 
strange  that  you  should  expect  any  from  us,  who  have  only 
been  defending  our  just  rights  against  your  invasions.  We 
want  peace.  Restore  to  us  our  country,  and  we  shall  be  ene- 
mies no  longer. 

"  *  *  *  We  desire  you  to  consider,  brothers,  that  our  only 
demand  is  the  peaceable  possession  of  a  small  part  of  our  once 
great  country.  Look  back  and  review  the  lands  from  whence 
we  have  been  driven  to  this  spot.  We  can  retreat  no  farther, 
because  the  country  behind  hardly  affords  food  for  its  present 


inhabitants,  and  we  have  therefore  resolved  to  leave  our  bones 
in  this  small  space  to  which  we  are  now  confined." 

The  commissioners  replied  that  to  make  the  Ohio  River  the 
boundary  was  now  impossible;  that  they  sincerely  regretted 
that  peace  could  not  be  made ;  but,  "  knowing  the  upright  and 
liberal  views  of  the  United  States,"  they  trust  that  "impartial 
judges  will  not  attribute  the  continuance  of  the  war  to  them." 

Notice  was  sent  to  the  governor  that  the  Indians  "  refused 
to  make  peace ;"  and  General  Anthony  Wayne,  a  few  weeks 
later,  wrote  to  the  Secretary  of  War,  "  The  safety  of  the  West- 
ern frontiers,  the  reputation  of  the  legion,  the  dignity  and  in- 
terest of  the  nation — all  forbid  a  retrograde  manosuvre,  or  giv- 
ing up  one  inch  of  ground  we  now  possess,  till  the  enemy  are 
compelled  to  sue  for  peace." 

The  history  of  the  campaigns  that  followed  is  to  be  found  in 
many  volumes  treating  of  the  pioneer  life  of  Ohio  and  other 
North-western  States.  One  letter  of  General  Wayne's  to  the 
Secretary  of  War,  in  August,  1794,  contains  a  paragraph  which 
is  interesting,  as  showing  the  habits  and  method  of  life  of  the 
people  whom  we  at  this  time,  by  force  of  arms,  drove  out 
from  their  homos — homes  which  we  had  only  a  few  years  be- 
fore solemnly  guaranteed  to  them,  even  giving  them  permission 
to  punish  any  white  intruders  there  as  they  saw  fit.  By  a 
feint  of  approaching  Grand  Glaize  through  the  Miami  villages, 
General  Wayne  surprised  the  settlement,  and  the  Indians,  be- 
ing warned  by  a  deserter,  had  barely  time  to  flee  for  their 
lives.  What  General  Wayne  had  intended  to  do  may  be  in- 
ferred from  this  sentence  in  his  letter:  "I  have  good  grounds 
to  conclude  that  the  defection  of  this  villain  prevented  the 
enemy  from  receiving  a  fatal  blow  at  tliis  place  when  least 

Ilowcvcr,  he  consoles  himself  by  the  fact  that  he  has 
"  gained  possession  of  the  grand  emporium  of  the  hostile  In- 
dians of  the  West  without  loss  of  blood.  The  very  extensive 


and  highly  cultivated  fields  and  gardens  show  the  work  of 
many  hands.  The  margins  of  those  beautiful  rivers— the  Mi- 
amis,  of  the  Lake,  and  Au  G-laize— appear  like  one  continued 
village  for  a  number  of  miles, both  above  and  below  this  place; 
nor  have  I  ever  before  beheld  such  immense  fields  of  corn  in 
any  part  of  America,  from  Canada  to  Florida." 

All  these  villages  were  burnt,  and  all  these  cornfields  de- 
stroyed ;  the  Indians  were  followed  up  and  defeated  in  a  sharp 
fight.  The  British  agents  did  their  best  to  keep  them  hostile, 
and  no  inconsiderable  aid  was  furnished  to  them  from  Canada. 
But  after  a  winter  of  suffering  and  hunger,  and  great  vacilla- 
tions of  purpose,  they  finally  decided  to  yield  to  the  inevitable, 
and  in  the  summer  of  1795  they  are  to  be  found  once  more 
assembled  in  council,  for  the  purpose  of  making  a  treaty ;  once 
more  to  be  told  by  the  representatives  of  the  United  States 
Government  that  "  the  heart  of  General  Washington,  the  Great 
Ctiief  of  America,  wishes  for  nothing  so  much  as  peace  and 
brotherly  love ;"  that  "  such  is  the  justice  and  liberality  of  the 
United  States,"  that  they  will  now  a  third  time  pay  for  lands; 
and  that  they  are  "  acting  the  part  of  a  tender  father  to  them 
and  their  children  in  thus  providing  for  them  not  only  at  pres- 
ent, but  forever." 

Eleven  hundred  and  thirty  Indians  (eleven  tribes,  besides 
the  Delawares,  being  represented)  were  parties  to  this  treaty. 
By  this  treaty  nearly  two-thirds  of  the  present  State  of  Ohio 
were  ceded  to  the  United  States ;  and,  in  consideration  of  these 
"  cessions  and  relinquishments,  and  to  manifest  the  liberality 
of  the  United  States  as  the  great  means  of  rendering  this  peace 
strong  and  perpetual,"  the  United  States  relinquished  all  claims 
"  to  all  other  Indian  lands  northward  of  the  River  Ohio,  east- 
ward of  the  Mississippi,  and  westward  and  southward  of  tho 
Great  Lakes  and  the  waters  uniting  them,  according  to  the 
boundary  line  agreed  upon  by  the  United  States  and  the  King 
of  Great  Britain,  in  the  treaty  of  peace  made  between  them 


in  the  year  1783,"  with  the  exception  of  four  tracts  of  land. 
But  it  was  stated  to  the  Indians  that  these  reservations  were 
not  made  "to  annoy  or  impose  the  smallest  degree  of  re- 
straint on  them  in  the  quiet  enjoyment  and  full  possession 
of  their  lands,"  but  simply  to  "  connect  the  settlements  of  the 
people  of  the  United  States,"  and  "  to  prove  convenient  and 
advantageous  to  the  different  tribes  of  Indians  residing  and 
hunting  in  their  vicinity." 

The  fifth  Article  of  the  treaty  is :  "  To  prevent  any  misun- 
derstanding about  the  Indian  lands  now  relinquished  by  the 
United  States,  it  is  explicitly  declared  that  the  meaning  of  that 
relinquishment  is  this :  that  the  Indian  tribes  who  have  a  right 
to  those  lands  are  quietly  to  enjoy  them — hunting,  planting, 
and  dwelling  thereon  50  long  as  they  please  without  any  moles- 
tation from  the  United  States ;  but  when  those  tribes,  or  any 
of  them,  shall  be  disposed  to  sell  their  lands,  or  any  part  of 
them,  they  are  to  be  sold  only  to  the  United  States ;  and  un- 
til such  sale  the  United  States  will  protect  all  the  said  Indian 
tribes  in  the  quiet  enjoyment  of  their  lands  against  all  citizens 
of  the  United  States,  and  against  all  other  white  persons  who 
intrude  on  the  same." 

The  sixth  Article  reiterates  the  old  pledge,  proved  by  the 
last  three  years  to  be  so  worthless — that,  "  If  any  citizen  of 
the  United  States,  or  any  other  white  person  or  persons,  shall 
presume  to  settle  upon  the  lands  now  relinquished  by  the 
United  States,  such  citizen  or  other  person  shall  be  out  of 
the  protection  of  the  United  States;  and  the  Indian  tribe 
on  whose  land  the  settlement  may  be  made  may  drive  off  the 
settler,  or  punish  him  in  such  manner  as  they  shall  think  fit." 

The  seventh  Article  gives  the  Indians  the  liberty  "  to  hunt 
within  the  territory  and  lands  which  they  have  now  ceded  to 
tho  United  States,  without  hinderance  or  molestation,  so  long 
as  they  demean  themselves  peaceably." 

The  United  States  agreed  to  pay  to  the  Indians  twenty 


thousand  dollars'  worth  of  goods  at  once ;  and  "  henceforward, 
every  year,  forever,  useful  goods  to  the  value  of  nine  thousand 
five  hundred  dollars,"  Peace  was  declared  to  be  "established" 
and  "perpetual." 

General  Wayne  told  the  Indians  that  they  might  believe 
him,  for  he  had  never,  "in  a  public  capacity,  told  a  lie;"  and 
one  of  the  Indians  said,  with  much  more  dignity,  "The  Great 
Spirit  above  hears  us,  and  I  trust  we  shall  not  endeavor  to  de- 
ceive each  other." 

In  1813,  by  a  treaty  at  Vincennes,  the  bounds  of  the  reser- 
vation of  the  Post  of  St.  Vincennes  were  defined,  and  the  In- 
dians, "  as  a  mark  of  their  regard  and  attachment  to  the  Unit- 
ed States,  relinquished  to  the  United  States  the  great  salt 
spring  on  the  Saline  Creek." 

In  less  than  a  year  we  made  still  another  treaty  with  them 
for  the  extinguishment  of  their  title  to  a  tract  of  land  between 
the  Ohio  and  the  Wabash  rivers  (which  they  sold  to  us  for  a 
ten  years'  annuity  of  three  hundred  dollars,  which  was  to  be 
"  exclusively  appropriated  to  ameliorating  their  condition  and 
promoting  their  civilization  ")  ;  and  in  one  year  more  still  an- 
other treaty,  in  which  a  still  further  cession  of  land  was  made 
for  a  permanent  annuity  of  one  thousand  dollars. 

In  August  of  this  year  General  Harrison  writes  to  the  Secre- 
tary of  War  that  there  are  great  dissensions  between  the  Dela- 
wares  and  Miamis  in  regard  to  some  of  the  ceded  lands,  the 
Miamis  claiming  that  they  had  never  consented  to  give  them 
up.  General  Harrison  observes  the  most  exact  neutrality  in 
this  matter,  but  says,  "A  knowledge  of  tSe  value  of  land  is  fast 
gaining  ground  among  the  Indians,"  and  negotiations  are  be- 
coming in  consequence  much  more  difficult.  In  the  course  of 
this  controversy,  "  one  of  the  chiefs  has  said  that  he  knew  a 
great  part  of  the  land  was  worth  six  dollars  an  acre." 

It  is  only  ten  years  since  one  of  the  chiefs  of  these  same 
tribes  had  said,  "  Money  is  to  us  of  no  value."  However,  they 


must  be  yet  very  far  from  having  reached  any  true  estimate  of 
real  values,  as  General  Harrison  adds:  "From  the  best  calcula- 
tion I  have  been  able  to  make,  the  tract  now  ceded  contains 
at  least  two  millions  of  acres,  and  embraces  some  of  the  finest 
lands  in  the  Western  country." 

Cheap  at  one  thousand  dollars  a  year ! — even  with  the  negro 
man  thrown  in,  which  General  Harrison  tells  the  Secretary  he 
has  ordered  Captain  Wells  to  purchase,  and  present  to  the 
chief,  The  Turtle,  and  to  draw  on  the  United  States  Treasury 
for  the  amount  paid  for  him. 

Four  years  later  (1809)  General  Harrison  is  instructed  by 
the  President  "  to  take  advantage  of  the  most  favorable  mo- 
ment for  extinguishing  the  Indian  title  to  the  lands  lying  east 
of  the  Wabash,  and  adjoining  south ;"  and  the  title  was  extin- 
guished by  the  treaty  of  Fort  Wayne — a  little  more  money 
paid,  and  a  great  deal  of  land  given  up. 

In  1814  we  made  a  treaty,  simply  of  peace  and  friendship, 
with  the  Delawares  and  several  other  tribes :  they  agreeing  to 
fight  faithfully  on  our  side  against  the  English,  and  we  agree- 
ing to  "confirm  and  establish  all  the  boundaries"  as  they  had 
existed  before  the  war. 

In  1817  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  make  an  effort  to  "ex- 
tinguish the  Indian  title  to  all  the  lands  claimed  by  them  with- 
in the  limits  of  the  State  of  Ohio.  Two  commissioners  were 
appointed,  with  great  discretionary  powers ;  and  a  treaty  was 
concluded  early  in  the  autumn,  by  which  there  was  ceded  to 
the  United  States  nearly  all  the  land  to  which  the  Indians  had 
claim  in  Ohio,  a  part  of  Indiana,  and  a  part  of  Michigan. 
This  treaty  was  said  by  the  Secretary  of  War  to  be  "the 
most  important  of  any  hitherto  made  with  the  Indians." 
"  The  extent  of  the  cession  far  exceeded  "  his  most  sanguine 
expectations,  and  he  had  the  honesty  to  admit  that  "  there  can 
be  no  real  or  well-founded  objection  to  the  amount  of  the  com' 
pensation  given  for  it,  except  that  it  is  not  an  adequate  one." 


The  commissioners  who  negotiated  the  treaty  were  appre- 
hensive that  they  would  be  accused  of  having  made  too  liberal 
terms  with  the  Indians,  and  in  their  report  to  the  department 
they  enumerate  apologetically  the  reasons  which  made  it  im- 
possible for  them  to  get  the  land  cheaper.  Mr.  Cass  says  of 
the  terms :  "  Under  any  circumstances,  they  will  fall  infinitely 
short  of  the  pecuniary  and  political  value  of  the  country  ob- 

The  Indians,  parties  to  this  treaty,  surrendered  by  it  almost 
the  last  of  their  hunting-grounds,  and  would  soon  be  driven  to 
depending  wholly  upon  the  cultivation  of  the  soil. 

In  1818  the  Delawares  again  ceded  land  to  the  United 
States — ceded  all  to  which  they  laid  claim  in  the  State  of  In- 
diana— and  the  United  States  promised  to  provide  for  them  "  a 
country  to  reside  in  on  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi,"  and 
"  to  guarantee  to  them  the  peaceable  possession  "  of  the  same. 
They  were  to  have  four  thousand  dollars  a  year  in  addition  to 
all  the  sums  promised  by  previous  treaties,  and  they  were  to  be 
allowed  to  remain  three  years  longer  by  sufferance  in  their 
present  homes.  The  Government  also  agreed  to  pay  them  for 
their  improvements  on  their  lands,  to  give  them  a  hundred  and 
twenty  horses,  and  a  "  sufficient  number  of  pirogues  to  aid  in 
transporting  them  to  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi;"  also 
provisions  for  the  journey. 

In  1829  a  supplementary  Article  was  added  to  this  treaty. 
The  United  States  Government  began  to  show  traces  of  com- 
punction and  pity.  The  Article  says,  "  Whereas  the  Delaware 
Nation  are  now  willing  to  remove,"  it  is  agreed  upon  that  the 
country  in  the  fork  of  the  Kansas  and  Missouri  rivers,  select- 
ed for  their  home, "  shall  be  conveyed  and  forever  secured  by 
the  United  States  to  the  said  Delaware  Nation,  as  their  per- 
manent residence ;  and  the  United  States  hereby  pledges  tiie 
faith  of  the  Government  to  guarantee  to  the  said  Delaware  Na- 
tion, forever,  the  quiet  and  peaceable  and  undisturbed  enjoy- 


ment  of  the  same  against  the  claims  and  assaults  of  all  and  ev- 
ery other  people  whatever." 

An  additional  permanent  annuity  of  one  thousand  dollars  is 
promised;  forty  horses,  "and  the  use  of  six  wagons  and  ox- 
teams  to  assist  in  removing  heavy  articles,"  provisions  for  the 
journey,  and  one  year's  subsistence  after  they  reach  their  new 
home;  also  the  erection  of  a  grist  and  saw  mill  within  two 

In  1833  the  Secretary  of  War  congratulated  the  country  on 
the  fact  that  "  the  country  north  of  the  Ohio,  east  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, including  the  States  of  Ohio,  Indiana,  Illinois,  and  the 
Territory  of  Michigan  as  far  as  the  Fox  and  Wisconsin  rivers," 
has  been  practically  "  cleared  of  the  embarrassments  of  Indian 
relations,"  as  there  are  not  more  than  five  thousand  Indians,  all 
told,  left  in  this  whole  region. 

The  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  in  the  same  year  says 
that  it  is  "  grateful  to  notice  "  how  much  the  Indians'  condition 
is  "  ameliorated  under  the  policy  of  removal."  He  says  that 
they,  "  protected  by  the  strong  arm  of  the  Government,  and 
dwelling  on  lands  distinctly  and  permanently  established  as 
their  own,  enjoying  a  delightful  climate  and  a  fertile  soil,  turn 
their  attention  to  the  cultivation  of  the  earth,  and  abandon  the 
chase  for  the  surer  supply  of  domestic  animals." 

This  commissioner  apparently  does  not  remember,  perhaps 
never  read,  the  records  of  the  great  fields  of  corn  which  the 
Dolawares  had  on  the  Miami  River  in  1795,  and  how  they  re- 
turned twice  that  summer  and  replanted  them,  after  General 
Wayne  had  cut  down  and  burnt  the  young  crops.  They  had 
"turned  their  attention  to  the  cultivation  of  the  soil"  forty 
years  ago,  and  that  was  what  came  of  it.  We  shall  see  how 
ranch  better  worth  while  it  may  be  for  them  to  plant  corn  in 
their  new  "  permanent  home,"  than  it  was  in  their  last  one. 

The  printed  records  of  Indian  Affairs  for  the  first  forty 
years  of  this  century  are  meagre  and  unsatisfactory.  Had  the 


practice  prevailed  then,  as  at  the  present  time,  of  printing  full 
annual  reports  for  the  different  tribes,  it  would  be  possible  to 
know  much  which  is  now  forever  locked  up  in  the  traditions 
and  the  memories  of  the  Indians  themselves.  For  ten  years 
after  the  making  of  this  last  quoted  treaty,  there  is  little  of- 
ficial mention  of  the  Delawares  by  name,  beyond  the  mention 
in  the  fiscal  reports  of  the  sums  paid  to  them  as  annuities  and 
for  education.  In  1833  the  commissioner  says,  "  The  agent  for 
the  Delawares  and  Shawnees  states  that  he  was  shown  cloth 
that  was  spun  and  wove,  and  shirts  and  other  clothing  made 
by  the  Indian  girls." 

In  1838  the  Delawares  are  reported  as  cultivating  one  thou- 
sand five  hundred  acres  of  land  in  grain  and  vegetables,  and 
raising  a  great  many  hogs,  cattle,  and  horses.  "  They  are  a 
brave,  enterprising  people,"  and  "  at  peace  with  all  neighboring 

Parties  of  them  frequently  make  excursions  into  the  Kocky 
Mountains  after  beaver,  and  return  with  a  rich  reward,  some- 
times as  much  as  one  thousand  dollars  to  an  individual;  but 
their  money  is  soon  spent,  chiefly  for  ardent  spirits.  The 
agent  says:  "The  only  hinderance  now  in  the  way  of  the 
Delawares,  Shawnees,  and  Kickapoos  is  ardent  spirits.  *  *  * 
These  whiskey  traffickers,  who  seem  void  of  all  conscience, 
rob  and  murder  many  of  these  Indians ;  I  say  rob — they  will 
get  them  drunk,  and  then  take  their  horses,  guns,  or  blankets 
off  their  backs,  regardless  of  how  quick  they  may  freeze  to 
death;  I  say  they  murder — if  not  directly,  indirectly,  they 
furnish  the  weapon — they  make  them  drunk,  and,  when  drunk, 
they  kill  their  fellow-beings.  Some  freeze  to  death  when  drunk ; 
several  drunken  Indians  have  been  drowned  in  the  Missouri 
River  this  season,  aiming  to  cross  when  drunk." 

In  1844  the  chiefs  of  the  Delawares  met  together,  and  pre- 
pared a  remarkable  document,  which  was  forwarded  to  the 
Secretary  of  War.  In  this  paper  they  requested  that  all  tho 


school  funds  to  which  they  were  entitled  by  treaty  provisions 
might  be  paid  to  the  Indian  Manual  Labor  School  near  the 
Fort  Leavenworth  Agency ;  might  be  pledged  to  that  school 
for  ten  years  to  come,  and  that  they  might  therefor  be  guaran- 
teed the  education  and  subsistence  of  Delaware  children,  not 
exceeding  fifty  at  any  one  time.  It  came  out,  in  course  of  this 
negotiation,  that  two  thousand  dollars  were  due  them  on  ar- 
rearages of  their  school  fund. 

The  Secretary  acceded  to  this  request,  but  imposed  five 
conditions'  upon  it,  of  which  the  fourth  seems  worth  chroni- 
cling, as  an  indication  of  the  helplessness  of  the  Delawares  in 
the  matter  of  the  disposition  of  their  own  money :  "  The  inter- 
est to  be  paid  annually  when  it  may  suit  the  Treasury ;  and 
this  ratification  to  be  subject  to  withdrawal,  and  the  agreement 
itself  to  rescission,  and  to  be  annulled  at  the  pleasure  of  the 

In  1845  the  Delawares  "raise  a  sufficiency  to  subsist  on. 
The  women  do  a  large  portion  of  the  work  on  the  farms.  In 
many  families,  however,  the  women  do  not  work  on  the  farm. 
They  raise  corn,  pumpkins,  beans,  pease,  cabbages,  potatoes, 
and  many  kinds  of  garden  vegetables.  Some  few  raise  wheat 
and  oats.  They  have  lately  had  built,  out  of  their  own  means, 
a  good  saw  and  grist  mill,  with  two  run  of  stones,  one  for  corn 
and  the  other  for  wheat.  There  is  a  constant  stream,  called 
the  Stranger,  in  their  country  that  affords  excellent  water  privi- 
leges. On  this  stream  their  mills  are  built." 

At  this  time  they  are  waiting  with  much  anxiety  to  see  if 
their  "  Great  Father  "  will  punish  the  Sioux,  who  have  at  two 
different  times  attacked  them,  and  murdered  in  all  some  thirty 
men.  "They  say  they  do  not  wish  to  offend  and  disobey 
their  Great  Father,  and  before  they  attempt  to  revenge  them- 
selves they  will  wait  and  see  if  their  Great  Father  will  compel 
the  Sioux  to  make  reparation." 

In  1848  "almost  every  family  is  well  supplied  with  farming- 


stock;  and  they  have  raised  abundance  of  corn,  some  wheat, 
potatoes,  oats,  and  garden  vegetables ;  have  made  butter  and 
cheese ;  and  raised  fruit,  etc.,  etc.  They  dwell  in  good  log- 
cabins,  and  some  have  extremely  neat  houses,  well  furnished. 
They  have  their  outhouses,  stables,  well-fenced  lots,  and  some 
have  good  barns."  There  are  seventy  scholars  in  one  school 
alone  that  are  taught  by  the  Friends ;  and  the  teacher  reports : 
"  It  is  truly  astonishing  to  see  the  rapidity  with  which  they 
acquire  knowledge.  The  boys  work  on  the  farm  part  of  the 
time,  and  soon  learn  how  to  do  what  they  are  set  at.  The 
girls  spend  a  part  of  their  time  in  doing  housework,  sewing, 
etc.  Many  of  them  do  the  sewing  of  their  own,  and  some 
of  the  clothes  of  the  other  children." 

In  1853  the  Delawares  are  recorded  as  being  "among  the 
most  remarkable  of  our  colonized  tribes.  By  their  intrepidity 
and  varied  enterprise  they  are  distinguished  in  a  high  degree. 
Besides  being  industrious  farmers  and  herdsmen,  they  hunt 
and  trade  all  over  the  interior  of  the  continent,  carrying  theiy 
traffic  beyond  the  Great  Salt  Lake,  and  exposing  themselves  to 
a  thousand  perils." 

Their  agent  gives,  in  his  report  for  this  year,  a  graphic  ac- 
count of  an  incident  such  as  has  only  too  often  occurred  on 
our  frontier.  "A  small  party  of  Delawares,  consisting  of  a 
man,  his  squaw,  and  a  lad  about  eighteen  years  of  age,  recent- 
ly returning  from  the  mountains,  with  the  avails  and  profits  of 
a  successful  hunt  and  traffic,  after  they  had  commenced  their 
journey  homeward  the  second  day  the  man  sickened  and  died. 
Before  he  died  he  directed  his  squaw  and  the  young  man  to 
hasten  home  with  their  horses  and  mules — thirteen  in  number 
— their  money  (four  hundred  and  forty-five  dollars),  besides 
many  other  articles  of  value.  After  a  few  days'  travel,  near 
some  of  the  forts  on  the  Arkansas,  they  were  overtaken  by 
four  white  men,  deserters  from  the  United  States  Array—three 
on  foot,  and  one  riding  a  mule.  The  squaw  and  young  man 


loaned  each  of  the  men  on  foot  a  horse  or  mule  to  ride,  and 
furnished  them  with  provisions.  They  all  travelled  on  friend- 
ly together  for  some  six  or  seven  days,  till  they  arrived  at 
Cottonwood  Creek,  thirty-five  or  forty  miles  west  of  Council 
Grove.  One  evening,  while  resting,  the  young  man  was  killed 
by  these  men ;  and  the  squaw  was  also  supposed  by  these 
wretches  to  be  dead,  having  had  her  throat  cut  badly  and  her 
head  fractured.  The  two  were  then  dragged  off  in  the  grass, 
supposed  to  be  dead.  The  men  gathered  the  mules,  horses, 
money,  guns,  blankets — all  that  they  supposed  of  value — and 
made  for  Jackson  County,  Missouri,  where  they  disposed  of  the 
stock  as  best  they  could,  and  three  of  them  took  steamer  for 
St.  Louis.  The  squaw,  on  the  day  after,  resuscitated ;  and  soon 
discovering  that  her  companion  had  been  killed,  and  every- 
thing they  possessed  had  disappeared,  she,  in  her  feeble  and 
dangerous  condition,  took  the  road  to  Council  Grove.  The 
fifth  day,  she  says,  she  was  overtaken  by  a  Kaw  Indian,  and 
brought  into  Council  Grove,  where  the  traders  had  every  atten- 
tion paid  her,  and  sent  a  runner  to  the  Delaware  traders  and 
myself,  and  we  soon  succeeded  in  capturing  one  of  the  men 
in  Liberty,  Clay  County,  Missouri,  where  he  confessed  the 
whole  tragedy — the  murder,  robbing,  etc.  The  three  others 
had  left  for  St.  Louis.  A  telegraphic  despatch  to  St.  Louis, 
however,  had  the  desired  effect,  and  the  three  men  were  taken 
and  brought  back  to  Liberty,  where,  on  trial  before  two  jus- 
tices of  the  peace,  they  were  committed  for  trial  in  the  District 
Court  of  the  United  States  for  the  State  of  Missouri.  As  fee- 
ble as  the  squaw  was,  I  was  under  the  necessity  of  having  her 
taken  to  Liberty  as  a  witness.  She  readily  recognized  and 
pointed  out  in  a  large  crowd  of  persons  three  of  the  prisoners. 
I  have  caused  four  of  the  recovered  mules  and  horses  to  be 
turned  over  to  the  unfortunate  squaw.  I  expect  to  recover 
two  or  three  more ;  the  balance,  I  am  of  opinion,  will  never  be 


In  the  report  of  the  Indian  Commissioner  for  this  year 
there  is  also  a  paragraph  which  should  not  be  omitted  from 
this  sketch:  "The  present  seems  to  be  an  appropriate  occa- 
sion for  calling  the  attention  of  Congress  to  certain  treaty  stip- 
ulations with  various  Indian  tribes  which  the  Government,  for 
a  number  of  years,  has  failed  to  execute.  In  consideration 
of  the  cession  of  their  lands  to  the  United  States  " — by  some 
nine  tribes  of  the  Mississippi  and  Missouri  regions,  among 
whom  were  the  Delawares — "it  was  stipulated  on  the  part 
of  the  Government  that  certain  sums  should  be  paid  to  said 
tribes,  amounting  in  the  aggregate  to  $2,396,600,  and  that 
the  same  should  be  invested  in  safe  and  profitable  stocks, 
yielding  an  interest  of  not  less  than  five  per  cent,  per  an- 

"  Owing,  however,  to  the  embarrassed  condition  of  the  Treas- 
ury, it  was  deemed  advisable  by  Congress,  in  lieu  of  making 
the  investments,  to  appropriate  from  year  to  year  a  sum  equal 
to  the  annual  interest  at  five  per  cent,  on  the  several  amounts 
required  to  be  invested.  On  this  amount  the  Government  has 
already  paid  from  its  treasury  $1,742,240  —  a  sum  which  is 
now  equal  to  two-thirds  of  the  principal,  and  will  in  a  few 
years  be  equal  to  the  whole,  if  the  practice  of  appropriating 
the  interest  be  continued.  As  there  is  no  limitation  to  the  pe- 
riod of  these  payments,  such  a  policy  indefinitely  continued 
would  prove  a  most  costly  one  to  the  Government.  At  the 
end  of  every  twenty  years  it  will  have  paid  from  the  public 
treasury  by  way  of  interest  the  full  amount  of  the  stipulated 
investments.  *  *  *  The  public  finances  are  in  a  prosperous  con- 
dition. Instead  of  fiscal  embarrassment,  there  is  now  a  redun- 
dancy of  money,  and  one  of  the  vexed  questions  of  the  day  is, 
What  shall  be  dono  with  the  surplus  in  the  Treasury  ?  Con- 
sidering the  premises,  it  seems  to  be  quite  clear  that  so  much 
thereof  as  may  be  necessary  for  the  purpose  should  be  prompt- 
ly applied  to  the  fulfilment  of  our  treaty  obligations." 


In  1854  the  influx  of  white  settlers  into  Kansas  was  so 
great,  it  became  evident  that  the  Indian  reservations  there  could 
not  be  kept  intact ;  and  the  Delawares  made  a  large  cession  of 
their  lands  back  to  the  United  States,  to  be  restored  to  the 
public  domain.  For  this  they  were  to  receive  ten  thousand 
dollars.  The  sixth  Article  of  this  treaty  provided  for  the  giv- 
ing of  annuities  to  their  chiefs.  "  The  Delawares  feel  now,  as 
heretofore,  grateful  to  their  old  chiefs  for  their  long  and  faith- 
ful services.  In  former  treaties,  when  their  means  were  scanty, 
they  provided  by  small  life  annuities  for  the  wants  of  the 
chiefs,  some  of  whom  are  now  receiving  them.  These  chiefs 
are  poor,  and  the  Delawares  believe  it  their  duty  to  keep  them 
from  want  in  their  old  age."  The  sum  of  ten  thousand  dollars, 
therefore,  was  to  be  paid  to  their  five  chiefs — two  hundred  and 
fifty  dollars  a  year  each. 

Article  second  provided  that  the  President  should  cause  the 
land  now  reserved  for  their  permanent  home  to  be  surveyed 
at  any  time  when  they  desired  it,  in  the  same  manner  as  the 
ceded  country  was  being  surveyed  for  the  white  settlers. 

In  the  following  year  their  agent  writes  thus  of  the  results 
which  have  followed  the  opening  of  this  large  tract  to  white 
settlers :  "  The  Indians  have  experienced  enough  to  shake  their 
confidence  in  the  laws  which  govern  the  white  race.  The  ir- 
ruptions of  intruders  on  their  trust  lands,  their  bloody  dissen- 
sions among  themselves,  outbreaks  of  party,  etc.,  must  necessa- 
rily, to  these  unsophisticated  people,  have  presented  our  system 
of  government  in  an  unfavorable  light. 

"  Numerous  wrongs  have  been  perpetrated  on  many  parts  of 
the  reserve ;  the  white  men  have  wasted  their  most  valuable 
timber  with  an  unsparing  hand;  the  trust  lands  have  been 
greatly  injured  in  consequence  of  the  settlements  made  there- 
on. The  Indians  have  complained,  but  to  no  purpose.  I  have 
found  it  useless  to  threaten  legal  proceedings.*  *  *  The  Gov- 
ernment is  bound  in  good  faith  to  protect  this  people.  *  *  * 


The  agricultural  portion  of  this  tribe  have  done  well  this  sea* 
son;  abundant  crops  of  corn  promise  them  a  supply  of  food 
for  the  ensuing  year." 

The  simple-minded  trustingness  of  these  people  is  astonish- 
ing. Even  now  they  assent  to  an  Article  in  this  treaty  which 
says  that,  as  the  means  arising  from  the  sale  of  all  this  land 
they  had  given  up  would  he  more  than  they  could  use,  the 
remainder  should  be  "from  time  to  time  invested  by  the  Pres- 
ident of  the  United  States  in  safe  and  profitable  stocks ;  the 
principal  to  remain  unimpaired,  and  the  interest  to  be  applied 
annually  for  the  civilization,  education,  and  religious  culture  of 
the  Delaware  people,  and  such  other  objects  of  a  beneficial 
character  as  in  his  judgment  are  proper  and  necessary,"  An- 
other Article  stipulates  that,  if  any  of  the  Delawares  are  worth- 
less or  idle,  the  President  can  withhold  their  share  of  the 

Article  fifteenth  says,  gravely,  "  The  primary  object  of  this 
instrument  being  to  advance  the  interests  and  welfare  of  the 
Delaware  people,  it  is  agreed  that,  if  it  prove  insufficient  to  ef- 
fect these  ends  from  causes  which  cannot  now  be  foreseen, 
Congress  may  hereafter  make  such  farther  provision,  by  law 
not  inconsistent  herewith,  as  experience  may  prove  to  be  neces- 
sary to  promote  the  interests,  peace,  and  happiness  of  the  Del- 
aware people." 

In  1860  the  United  States  made  its  next  treaty  with  the 
Delawares,  in  which  they  consented  to  give  the  Leavenworth, 
Pawnee,  and  Western  Railroad  Company  right  of  way  and 
certain  lands  in  their  reserve.  In  1861  another  treaty,  in 
which,  as  the  railway  company  had  not  paid,  and  was  not  able 
to  pay,  the  $286,742  which  it  had  promised  to  pay  the  Del- 
awares, the  President  authorized  the  Commissioners  of  Indian 
Affairs  to  take  the  bonds  of  said  railroad  for  that  amount, 
and  a  mortgage  on  one  hundred  thousand  acres  of  the  land 
which  the  Indians  had  sold  to  the  railway  company. 


There  was  another  very  curious  bit  of  legislation  in  regard 
to  the  Delawares  this  year,  viz.,  an  Act  of  Congress  authorizing 
the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  to  enter  on  his  books  $423,990  26 
to  the  credit  of  the  Delawares;  being  the  amount  of  bonds 
which  the  United  States  had  invested  for  the  Delawares  in 
State  bonds  of  Missouri,  Tennessee,  and  North  Carolina,  and 
which  had  been  stolen  while  in  the  custody  of  Jacob  Thomp- 
son, late  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  in  whose  department  they 
had  been  deposited  for  safe-keeping.  (At  the  same  time  there 
were  stolen  $66,735  belonging  to  the  lowas,  and  $169,686  75 
belonging  to  the  confederated  bands  of  KaskasMas,  Peorias, 
Piankeshaws,  and  Keas.) 

In  this  year  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  visited  the 
Delawares,  and  reported  them  well  advanced  in  civilization,  in 
possession  of  comfortable  dwellings  and  farms,  with  personal 
property  averaging  one  thousand  dollars  to  an  individual. 
Many  of  them  were  traders,  and  travelled  even  to  the  bounda- 
ries of  California. 

In  1862  two  regiments  of  Delawares  and  Osages  enlisted  as 
soldiers  in  an  'expedition  to  the  Indian  Territory,  under  Colonel 
Wcer,  who  says  of  them :  "  The  Indian  soldiers  have  far  ex- 
ceeded the  most  sanguine  expectations.  They  bore  the  brunt 
of  the  fighting  done  by  the  expedition,  and,  had  they  been 
properly  sustained,  would  have  effectually  ended  the  sway  of 
the  rebels  in  the  Indian  Territory." 

There  was  during  this  year  a  terrible  condition  of  affairs  in 
Kansas  and  the  Indian  Territory.  The  Indians  were  largely  on 
the  side  of  the  rebels ;  yet,  as  the  Indian  Commissioner  said  in 
his  report  for  this  year — a  paragraph  which  is  certainly  a  spe- 
cies of  Irish  bull — "  While  the  rebelling  of  a  large  portion  of 
most  of  the  tribes  abrogates  treaty  obligations,  and  places  them 
at  our  mercy,  the  very  important  fact  should  not  be  forgotten 
that  the  Government  first  wholly  failed  to  keep  its  treaty  stip- 
ulations with  them  in  protecting  them,"  "  By  withdrawing  all 


the  troops  from  the  forts  in  the  Indian  Territory,'1  it  left  them 
"  at  the  mercy  of  the  rehels."  That  is,  we  first  broke  the  treaty ; 
and  then  their  subsequent  failure  to  observe  it  "  placed  them  at 
our  mercy !" 

"  It  is,"  he  says,  "  a  well-known  fact  that  in  many  instances 
self-preservation  compelled  them  to  make  the  best  terms  they 
could  with  the  rebels ;  and  that  this  is  the  case  has  been  proved 
by  a  large  number  of  them  joining  our  army  as  soon  as  a  suf- 
ficient force  had  penetrated  their  country  to  make  it  safe  for 
them  to  do  so." 

The  Delawares  enlisted,  in  1862,  one  hundred  and  seventy 
men  in  the  Union  army,  and  this  out  of  a  population  of  only 
two  hundred  males  between  the  ages  of  eighteen  and  forty-five. 
There  was  probably  no  instance  in  the  .whole  country  of  such 
a  ratio  of  volunteers  as  this.  They  were  reported  as  being  in 
the  army  "  tractable,  sober,  watchful,  and  obedient  to  the  com- 
mands of  their  superiors."  They  officered  their  own  compa- 
nies, and  the  use  of  spirituous  liquors  was  strictly  prohibited 
among  them — a  fact  the  more  remarkable,  as  drunkenness  was 
one  of  their  chief  vices  at  home. 

Already,  however,  the  "  interests "  of  the  white  settlers  in 
Kansas  were  beginning  to  be  clearly  in  opposition  to  the  in- 
terests of  the  Indians.  "  Circumscribed  as  they  arc,  and  closely 
surrounded  by  white  settlements,  I  can  sec  nothing  in  the  future 
for  them  but  destruction,"  says  the  commissioner.  "I  think  it 
is  for  the  interest  of  the  Indians  that  they  be  removed  to  some 
other  locality  as  soon  as  possible." 

"  Several  of  them  have  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  acres  of 
land  in  cultivation,  with  comfortable  dwellings,  barns,  and  out- 
houses. *  *  *  All  the  families  are  domiciled  in  houses.  *  *  * 
Their  crops  of  corn  will  yield  largely.  Nearly  every  family 
will  have  a  sufficiency  for  their  own  consumption,  and  many  of 
the  larger  farmers  a  surplus.  *  *  *  There  are  but  few  Delaware 
children  of  the  age  of  twelve  or  fourteen  that  cannot  read." 


Here  is  a  community  of  a  thousand  people,  larger  than  many 
of  the  farming  villages  in  New  England,  for  instance, "  ths  aver- 
age of  personal  property  amounting  to  one  thousand  dollars ;" 
all  living  in  their  own  houses,  cultivating  from  fifty  to  one 
hundred  acres  of  land,  nearly  all  the  children  in  schools,  and 
yet  it  is  for  their  "  interest  to  be  moved  1"  The  last  sentence 
of  the  following  paragraph  tells  the  story : 

"When  peace  is  restored  to  our  country,  a  removal  of  all 
the  Indians  in  Kansas  will  certainly  be  advantageous  to  them 
as  well  as  to  the  State." 

In  1863  their  agent  writes:  "Since  the  question  of  the  re- 
moval of  the  Indians  from  Kansas  has  been  agitated,  improve- 
ments have  been  much  retarded  among  the  Delawares  and 
other  Indians  in  Kansas. 

"  I  think  they  are  sufficiently  prepared  to  make  new  treaties 
with  the  Government,  *  *  *  having  in  view  settlement  in  the 
Southern  country  of  those  who  elect  to  emigrate,  compensa- 
tion for  the  homes  they  relinquish,  and  a  permission  to  remain 
in  their  present  homes  for  all  who  are  opposed  to  leaving 

At  this  time,  "  one-half  the  adult  population  are  in  the  vol- 
unteer service  of  the  United  States.  They  make  the  best  of  . 
soldiers,  and  arc  highly  valued  by  their  officers.  *  *  *  No  State 
in  the  Union  has  furnished  so  many  men  for  our  armies,  from 
the  same  ratio  of  population,  as  has  the  Delaware  tribe.  *  *  * 
The  tribo  has  3900  acres  of  land  under  cultivation,  in  corn, 
wheat,  oats,  and  potatoes."  (And  yet  one-half  the  adult  men 
are  away !) 

In  this  year  the  Delawares, being  "sufficiently  prepared"  to 
make  new  treaties  looking  to  their  removal  out  of  the  way  of 
the  white  settlers  in  Kansas,  petitioned  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment to  permit  them  to  take  eight  hundred  dollars  of  their 
annuity  funds  to  pay  the  expense  of  sending  a  delegation  of 
their  chiefs  to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  to  see  if  they  could  find 


there  a  country  which  would  answer  for  their  new  home.  The 
commissioner  advises  that  they  should  not  be  allowed  to  go 
there,  but  to  the  Indian  Territory,  of  which  he  says,  "  The 
geographical  situation  is  such  that  its  occupation  by  lawless 
whites  can  be  more  easily  prevented  than  any  other  portion 
of  the  country,"  "  By  common  consent,  this  appears  to  be  rec- 
ognized as  the  Indian  country,  and  I  have  strong  hopes  that  it 
will  eventually  prove  for  them  a  prosperous  and  happy  home." 

In  1864  their  agent  writes  that  the  greater  part  of  the  per- 
sonal property  owned  by  the  Dclawarcs  is  in  stock, "  which  is 
constantly  being  preyed  upon  by  the  whites,  until  it  has  be- 
come so  reduced  that  it  is  difficult  to  obtain  a  good  animal  in 
the  nation."  He  says  he  is  unable,  for  the  want  of  proper  in- 
formation, to  determine  what  amount  they  had  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  year,  but  believes,  from  observation, "  that  it  has 
undergone  a  depletion  to  the  extent  of  twenty  thousand  dol- 
lars in  the  past  year." 

What  a  picture  of  a  distressed  community !  The  men  away 
at  war,  old  men,  women,  and  children  working  the  farms,  and 
twenty  thousand  dollars  of  stock  stolen  from  them  in  one 
year  I 

in  1865  a  large  proportion  of  those  who  had  enlisted  in  the 
United  States  Army  were  mustered  out,  and  returned  home. 
The  agent  says :  "  It  affords  me  great  pleasure  to  chronicle  the 
continued  loyalty  of  this  tribe  during  the  past  four  years ;  and, 
as  events  tend  westward,  they  evince  every  disposition  to  aid 
the  Government  by  contributing  their  knowledge  of  the  coun- 
try to  the  officers  of  the  army,  and  rendering  such  services 
thereto  as  they  are  qualified  to  perform." 

They  "  have  distinguished  themselves  in  many  instances  in 
the  conflicts  on  the  borders ;"  nevertheless,  in  this  same  year, 
these  discharged  soldiers  were  prohibited  by  the  Government 
from  carrying  revolvers.  When  the  commissioner  instructed 
the  agent  to  disarm  them,  the  agent  very  properly  replied, 


stating  the  difficulties  in  the  case:  "Firstly,  what  disposition 
is  to  be  made  of  weapons  taken  forcibly  from  these  Indians? 
Secondly,  many  of  these  Indians  are  intelligent,  only  using 
weapons  when  any  well-disposed  white  person  would  have 
done  so ;  and  if  one  class  is  disarmed,  all  must  be ;"  on  which 
the  commissioner  so  modified  his  order  as  to  say  that  "  peace- 
ably disposed  Indians  "  might  keep  the  usual  weapons  used  by 
them  in  hunting ;  but  whenever  they  visited  agencies  or  towns 
they  must  deliver  up  all  weapons  to  the  agent,  who  would  re- 
ceipt for  them,  and  return  them  "  at  proper  times."  This  or- 
der is  to  be  enforced,  if  possible,  by  an  "  appeal  to  their  better 

There  are  no  records  of  the  practical  working  of  this  order. 
Very  possibly  it  fell  at  once,  by  its  own  weight,  into  the  al- 
Teady  large  category  of  dead-letter  laws  in  regard  to  Indians. 
It  is  impossible  to  imagine  an  Indian  who  had  served  four 
years  as  an  officer  in  the  army  (for  the  Delawares  officered 
their  own  companies)  submitting  to  be  disarmed  by  an  agent 
on  any  day  when  he  might  need  to  go  to  Atchison  on  business. 
Probably  even  that  "appeal  to  his  better  judgment"  which 
the  commissioner  recommends,  would  only  draw  from  him  a 
very  forcible  statement  to  the  effect  that  any  man  who  went 
about  in  Kansas  at  that  time  unarmed  was  a  fool. 

In  1866  the  Indian  Commissioner  reports  that  "the  State 
of  Kansas  is  fast  being  filled  by  an  energetic  population  who 
appreciate  good  land ;  and  as  the  Indian  reservations  were  se- 
lected as  being  the  best  in  the  State,  but  one  result  can  be  ex- 
pected to  follow. 

"Most  of  the  Indians  are  anxious  to  move  to  the  Indian 
country  south  of  Kansas,  where  white  settlers  cannot  interfere 
with  them. 

"  Intermingled  as  the  Kansas  reservations  are  with  the  pub- 
lic lands,  and  surrounded  in  most  cases  by  white  settlers  who 
too  often  act  on  the  principle  that  an  Indian  has  no  rights 


that  a  white  man  is  bound  to  respect,  they  are  iniured  and 
annoyed  in  many  ways.  Their  stock  are  stolen,  their  fences 
broken  down,  their  timber  destroyed,  their  young  men  plied 
with  whiskey,  their  women  debauched ;  so  that,  while  the  un- 
civilized are  kept  in  a  worse  than  savage  state,  having  the 
crimes  of  civilization  forced  upon  them,  those  farther  advanced, 
and  disposed  to  honest  industry,  are  discouraged  beyond  en- 

In  spite  of  all  this  the  Delawares  raised,  in  1866,  72,000 
bushels  of  grain,  13,000  bushels  of  potatoes,  and  owned  5000 
head  of  cattle. 

In  July  of  this  year  a  treaty  was  made  with  them,  providing 
for  the  removal  to  the  Indian  Territory  of  all  who  should  not 
decide  to  become  citizens  of  Kansas,  and  the  sale  of  their 
lands.  The  superintendent  of  the  Fort  Leavenworth  Agency 
writes  at  this  time :  "  The  running  of  the  Union  Pacific  Rail- 
road through  the  Delawares'  diminished  reserve  has  been  a 
source  of  grievous  annoyance  and  damage  to  the  Delawares, 
as  has  also  an  organization  styled  the  Delaware  Lumber  Com- 
pany. Out  of  these  two  companies  grew  much  complaint  and 
investigation,  resulting  in  the  appointment  of  a  special  agent 
to  sell  to  the  railroad  the  timber  required  for  the  construction 
of  the  road,  and  no  more.  The  Delaware  Lumber  Company 
being  thus  restricted"  (i.  e.,  being  prevented  from  helping 
themselves  to  the  Indians'  timber),  immediately  "gave  up 
their  business,  and  stopped  their  mills,"  but  not  before  they 
had  damaged  the  Indians'  property  to  the  amount  of  twenty- 
eight  thousand  dollars. 

Twenty  thousand  dollars'  worth  of  stock  and  twenty-eight 
thousand  dollars'  worth  of  timber  having  been  stolen  in  two 
years  from  this  little  village  of  farmers,  no  wonder  they  are 
"  sufficiently  prepared  to  move."  Other  causes  have  conspired 
also  to  render  them  in  haste  to  be  gone.  The  perpetual  expec- 
tation of  being  obliged  to  remove  had  unsettled  the  whole  com- 


munity,  and  made  them  indifierent  to  effort  and  improvement. 
The  return  of  their  young  men  from  the  war  had  also  had  a 
demoralizing  effect.  Drunken  frays  were  not  uncommon,  in 
which  deadly  weapons  were  used,  spite  of  the  Department's 
regulations  for  disarming  all  Indians. 

In  July  of  this  year  the  Delaware  chiefs,  distressed  by  this 
state  of  affairs,  drew  up  for  their  nation  a  code  of  laws  which 
compare  favorably  with  the  laws  of  so-called  civilized  States.* 

In  1867  the  Delawares  are  said  to  be  "very  impatient  to  be 
gone  from  their  reserve,  in  order  to  build  houses  this  autumn 
for  winter  use,  and  to  be  fencing  fields  for  the  ensuing  year  at 
their,  new  reserve."  The  annuities  due  them  in  April  of  this 
year  have  not  been  paid  till  autumn,  and  this  has  delayed  their 
movements.  Many  of  the  young  men  are  still  away,  acting  as 
scouts  and  guides  in  the  army.  In  the  course  of  this  year  and 
the  next  the  whole  tribe  moved  by  detachments  to  their  new 
home.  "  Those  who  removed  during  the  winter  went  to  work 
in  a  laudable  manner,  and  made  their  improvements — many 
building  comfortable  houses  and  raising  respectable  crops"  the 
first  season.  They  are  said  to  be  now  in  a  fair  way  to  be  bet- 
ter off  than  ever  before.  They  have  "given  up  their  tribal  or- 
ganization and  become  Cherokee  citizens.  They  report  that 
they  are  well  pleased  with  their  new  homes ;  and,  being  sepa- 
rated from  the  many  temptations  by  which  they  were  sur- 
rounded in  their  old  reservation,  are  learning  to  appreciate  the 
many  benefits  to  be  derived  from  leading  a  temperate,  indus- 
trious, and  consequently  a  prosperous  and  happy  life." 

In  1869  it  is  said  that,  "as  soon  as  the  final  arrangement 
relative  to  their  funds  is  perfected,  they  will  lose  their  nation- 
ality and  become  identified  with  the  Cherokees." 

In  1870  we  find  nearly  all  the  Delawares  in  Indian  Territory; 
but  it  seems  that,  owing  to  a  carelessly  surveyed  boundary,  some 

*  See  Appendix,  Art.  8. 


three  hundred  of  them  had  settled  down  on  lands  which  were 
outside  the  Cherokee  Reservation,  and  had  been  assigned  by 
the  Government  to  the  Osages.  This  unfortunate  three  hun- 
dred, therefore,  are  removed  again ;  this  time  to  the  lands 
of  the  Peorias,  where  they  ask  permission  to  establish  them- 
selves. But  in  the  mean  time,  as  they  had  made  previous  ar- 
rangements with  the  Cherokees,  and  all  their  funds .  had  been 
transferred  to  the  Cherokee  Nation,  it  is  thought  to  be  "  very 
unfortunate  that  they  should  be  thus  obliged  to  seek  a  new 
home ;"  and  it  is  said  to  be  "  quite  desirable  that  the  parties  in 
interest  should  reconcile  their  unsettled  affairs  to  mutual  ad- 

We  are  too  much  inclined  to  read  these  records  carelessly, 
without  trying  to  picture  to  ourselves  the  condition  of  affairs 
which  they  represent.  It  has  come  to  be  such  an  accepted 
thing  in  the  history  and  fate  of  the  Indian  that  he  is  to  be 
always  pushed  on,  always  in  advance  of  what  is  called  the 
march  of  civilization,  that  to  the  average  mind  statements  of 
these  repeated  removals  come  with  no  startling  force,  and  sug- 
gest no  vivid  picture  of  details,  only  a  sort  of  reassertion  of  an 
abstract  general  principle.  But  pausing  to  consider  for  a  mo- 
ment what  such  statements  actually  mean  and  involve;  imag- 
ining such  processes  applied  to  some  particular  town  or  village 
that  we  happen  to  be  intimately  acquainted  with,  we  can  soon 
come  to  a  new  realization  of  the  full  bearing  and  import  of 
them ;  such  uprooting,  such  perplexity,  such  loss,  such  confu- 
sion and  uncertainty,  inflicted  once  on  any  community  of  white 
people  anywhere  in  our  land,  would  be  considered  quite  enough 
to  destroy  its  energies  and  blight  its  prospects  for  years.  It 
may  very  well  be  questioned  whether  any  of  our  small  com- 
munities would  have  recovered  from  such  successive  shocks, 
changes,  and  forced  migrations,  as  soon  and  as  well  as  have 
many  of  these  Indian  tribes.  It  is  very  certain  that  the.v  would 
not  have  submitted  to  them  as  patiently. 

THE    DELA  WARES.  60 

After  this  we  find  in  the  Official  Reports  no  distinctive  men- 
tion of  the  Dela wares  by  name,  except  of  a  few  who  had  bcjn 
for  some  time  living  in  the  Indian  Territory,  and  were  not  in- 
cluded in  the  treaty  provisions  at  the  time  of  the  removal  from 
Kansas.  This  little  handful — eighty-one  in  number — is  all  that 
now  remain  to  bear  the  name  of  that  strong  and  friendly  peo- 
ple to  whom,  a  little  more  than  one  hundred  years  ago,  we 
promised  that  they  should  be  our  brothers  forever,  and  be  en- 
titled to  a  representation  in  our  Congress. 

This  band  of  Delawares  is  associated  with  six  other  dwin- 
dled remnants  of  tribes — the  Caddoes,  lonies,  Wichitas,  To- 
waconies,  Wacoes,  Keechies,  and  Comanches — on  the  Wichita 
Agency,  in  Indian  Territory. 

They  are  all  reported  as  being  "  peaceable,  well  disposed," 
and  "  actively  engaged  in  agricultural  pursuits." 

Of  the  Delawares  it  is  said,  in  1878,  that  they  were  not  able 
to  cultivate  so  much  land  as  they  had  intended  to  during  that 
year,  "  on  account  of  loss  of  stock  by  horse-thieves." 

Even  here,  it  seems,  in  that  "  Indian  country  south  of  Kansas, 
where"  (as  they  were  told)  "white  settlers  could  not  interfere 
with  them,"  enemies  lie  in  wait  for  them,  as  of  old,  to  rob  and 
destroy ;  even  here  the  Government  is,  as  before,  unable  to  pro- 
tect them;  and  in  all  probability, the  tragedies  of  1866  and 
1867  will  before  long  be  re-enacted  with  still  sadder  results. 





OUB  first  treaty  with  the  Cheyennes  was  made  in  1825,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Teton  River.  It  was  merely  a  treaty  of  am- 
ity and  friendship,  and  acknowledgment  on  the  part  of  the 
Cheyennes  of  the  "supremacy"  of  the  United  States.  Two 
years  before  this,  President  Monroe  reported  the  "Cbayenes" 
to  be  "  a  tribe  of  three  thousand  two  hundred  and  fifty  souls, 
dwelling  and  hunting  on  a  river  of  the  same  name,  a  western 
tributary  of  the  Missouri,  a  little  above  the  Great  Bend."  Ten 
years  later,  Catlin,  the  famous  painter  of  Indians,  met  a  "  Shi- 
enne"  chief  and  squaw  among  the  Sioux,  and  painted  their 
portraits.  He  says,  "  The  Shiennes  are  a  small  tribe  of  about 
three  thousand  in  number,  living  neighbors  to  the  Sioux  on  the 
west  of  them,  between  the  Black  Hills  and  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains. There  is  no  finer  race  of  men  than  these  in  North  Amer- 
ica, and  none  superior  in  stature,  except  the  Osagcs :  scarcely  a 
man  in  the  tribe  full  grown  who  is  less  than  six  feet  in  height." 
They  are  "  *he  richest  in  horses  of  any  tribe  on  the  continent ; 
living  where  d?e  greatest  herds  of  wild  horses  are  grazing  on 
the  prairies,  which  they  catch  in  great  numbers,  and  sell  to  the 
Sioux,  Mandans,  and  other  tribes,  as  well  as  to  the  fur-traders. 

"  These  people  are  the  most  desperate  set  of  warriors  and 
horsemen,  having  carried  on  almost  unceasing  wars  with  the 
Pawnees  and  Blackfeet.  The  chief  was  clothed  in  a  handsome 
dress  of  deer-skins,  very  neatly  garnished  with  broad  bands  of 
porcupine-quill  work  down  the  sleeves  of  his  shirt  and  leg* 


gings.  The  woman  was  comely,  and  beautifully  dressed.  Her 
dress  of  the  mountain  -  sheepskin  tastefully  ornamented  with 
quills  and  beads,  and  her  hair  plaited  in  large  braids  that  hung 
down  on  her  breast." 

In  1837  the  agent  for  the  "Sioux,  Cheyennes,  and  Poncas" 
reports  that  "  all  these  Indians  live  exclusively  by  the  chase ;" 
and  that  seems  to  be  the  sum  and  substance  of  his  information 
about  them.  He  adds,  also,  that  these  remote  wandering  tribes 
have  a  great  fear  of  the  border  tribes,  and  wish  to  avoid  them. 
In  1838  the  Cheyennes  are  reported  as  carrying  on  trade  at  a 
post  on  the  Arkansas  River  near  the  Santa  Fe  road,  but  still 
depending  on  the  chase. 

In  1842  they  are  spoken  of  as  a  "wandering  tribe  on  the 
Platte ;"  and  in  .the  same  year,  Mr.  D.  D.  Mitchell,  Supt.  of  In- 
dian Affairs,  with  his  head-quarters  at  St.  Louis,  writes :  "  Gen- 
erations will  pass  away  before  this  territory  "  [the  territory  in 
which  the  wild  tribes  of  the  Upper  Mississippi  were  then  wan- 
dering] "  becomes  much  more  circumscribed ;  for  if  we  draw  a 
line  running  north  and  south,  so  as  to  cross  the  Missouri  about 
the  mouth  of  the  Vermilion  River,  we  shall  designate  the  limits 
beyond  which  civilized  men  are  never  likely  to  settle.  At  this 
point  the  Creator  seems  to  have  said  to  the  tides  of  emigration 
that  are  annually  rolling  toward  the  West,  'Thus  far  shalt  thou 
go,  and  no  farther.'  At  all  events,  if  they  go  beyond  this,  they 
will  never  stop  on  the  east  side  of  the  Rocky  Mountains.  The 
utter  destitution  of  timber,  the  sterility  of  sandy  soil,  together 
with  the  coldness  and  dryness  of  the  climate,  furnish  obstacles 
which  not  even  Yankee  enterprise  is  likely  to  overcome.  A 
beneficent  Creator  seems  to  have  intended  this  dreary  region  as 
an  asylum  for  the  Indians,  when  the  force  of  circumstances 
shall  have  driven  them  from  the  last  acre  of  the  fertile  soil 
which  they  once  possessed.  Here  no  inducements  are  offered 
to  the  ever-restless  Saxon  breed  to  erect  their  huts.  *  *  *  The 
time  may  arrive  when  the  whole  of  the  Western  Indians  will  be 


forced  to  seek  a  resting-place  in  this  Great  American  Desert; 
and  tliis,  in  all  probability,  will  form  a  new  era  in  the  history 
of  this  singular  and  ill-fated  race.  They  will  remain  a  wander- 
ing,  half  civilized,  though  happy  people.  'Their  flocks  and 
herds  will  cover  a  thousand  hills,'  dhd  will  furnish  beef  and 
mutton  for  a  portion  of  the  dense  population  of  whites  that 
will  swarm  in  the  more  fertile  sections  of  the  great  valley  of 
the  Mississippi." 

This  line,  recommended  by  Mr.  Mitchell,  runs  just  east  of 
Dakota,  through  the  extreme  eastern  portion  of  Nebraska,  a  lit- 
tle to  the  east  of  the  middle  of  Kansas,  through  the  middle  of 
Indian  Territory  and  Texas,  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  Montana, 
Idaho,  Colorado,  and  New  Mexico,  all  lie  west  of  it. 

The  records  of  the  War  Department  for  1846  contain  an  in- 
teresting  account  of  a  visit  made  to  all  the  wild  tribes  of  the 
Upper  Missouri  Agency — the  Yankton  Sioux,  the  Arrikarees, 
Mandans,  Assinaboines,  Arapahoes,  Cheyennes,  and  others.  In 
reply  to  the  agent's  remonstrances  with  one  of  the  Sioux  chiefs 
in  regard  to  their  perpetual  warring  with  each  other,  the  chief 
"  was  very  laconic  and  decided;  remarking  '  that  if  their  great- 
grandfather desired  them  to  cease  to  war  with  their  enemies, 
why  did  he  not  send  each  of  them  a  petticoat,  and  make  squaws 
of  them  at  once  f  "  This  same  chief  refused  to  allow  the  boys 
of  his  tribe  to  go  to  the  Choctaw  schools,  saying,  "  They  would 
return,  as  the  few  did  who  went  to  St.  Louis,  drunkards,  or  die 
on  the  way." 

The  Cheyennes  and  other  Indians  living  on  the  Platte  com- 
plained bitterly  of  the  passage  of  the  emigrants  through  their 
country.  They  said  they  ought  to  be  compensated  for  the 
right  of  way,  and  that  the  emigrants  should  be  restricted  by 
law  and  the  presence  of  a  military  force  from  burning  the 
grass,  and  from  unnecessary  destruction  of  game.  They  were 
systematically  plundered  and  demoralized  by  traders.  Whiskey 
was  to  bo  had  without  difficulty;  sugar  and  coffee  were  sold 


at  one  dollar  a  pound ;  ten-cent  calico  at  one  dollar  a  yard ; 
corn  at  seventy-five  cents  a  gallon,  and  higher. 

In  1847  a  law  was  passed  by  Congress  forbidding  the  intro- 
duction of  whiskey  into  the  Indian  country,  and  even  the  par- 
tial enforcement  of  this  law  had  a  most  happy  effect.  Fore- 
most among  those  to  acknowledge  the  benefits  of  it  were  the 
traders  themselves,  who  said  that  the  Indians'  demand  for  sub- 
stantial articles  of  trade  was  augmented  two  hundred  per  cent.: 
"They  enjoy  much  better  health,  look  much  better,  and  are  bet- 
ter people.  *  *  *  You  now  rarely  ever  hear  of  a  murder  com- 
mitted, whereas  when  whiskey  was  plenty  in  that  country  mur- 
der was  a  daily  occurrence."  These  Indians  themselves  were 
said  to  be  "  opposed  to  the  introduction  of  ardent  spirits  into 
their  country ;  *  *  *  but,  like  almost  all  other  Indians,  will  use 
it  if  you  give  it  to  them,  and  when  under  its  influence  are  dan- 
gerous and  troublesome."  There  were  at  this  time  nearly  forty- 
six  thousand  of  these  Tipper  Missouri  Indians.  Five  bands  of 
them — "  the  Sioux,  Cheyennes,  Gros  Yentres,  Mandans,  and  Pon- 
cas" — were  "  excellent  Indians,  devotedly  attached  to  the  white 
man,"  living  "  in  peace  and  friendship  with  our  Government," 
and  "  entitled  to  the  special  favor  and  good  opinion  of  the  De- 
partment for  their  uniform  good  conduct  and  pacific  relations." 

In  1848  it  was  estimated  from  the  returns  made  by  traders 
that  the  trade  of  this  agency  amounted  to  $400,000.  Among 
the  items  were  25,000  buffalo  tongues.  In  consequence  of  this 
prosperity  on  the  part  of  the  Indians,  there  was  a  partial  ces- 
sation of  hostilities  on  the  whites;  but  it  was  still  a  perilous 
journey  to  cross  the  plains,  and  in  1849  the  necessity  for  mak- 
ing some  sort  of  treaty  stipulations  with  all  these  wild  tribes 
begins  to  be  forced  emphatically  upon  the  attention  of  the 
United  States  Government.  A  safe  highway  across  the  conti* 
nent  must  be  opened.  It  is  a  noticeable  thing,  however,  that, 
even  as  late  as  this  in  the  history  of  our  diplomatic  relations 
with  the  Indian,  his  right  to  a  certain  control  as  well  as  occu- 


pancy  of  the  soil  was  instinctively  recognized.  The  Secretary 
of  the  Interior,  in  his  report  for  1 849,  says :  "  The  wild  tribes 
of  Indians  -who  have  their  hunting-grounds  in  the  great  prairie 
through  which  our  emigrants  to  California  pass,  have,  during 
the  year,  been  more  than  usually  pacific.  They  have  suffered 
our  people  to  pass  through  their  country  with  little  interrup- 
tion, though  they  travelled  in  great  numbers,  and  consumed  on 
their  route  much  grass  and  game.  For  these  the  Indians  ex- 
pect compensation,  and  their  claim  is  just." 

The  Secretary,  therefore,  concurs  in  the  recommendation  of 
the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  that  treaties  be  negotiated 
with  these  tribes,  stipulating  for  the  right  of  way  through  their 
country,  and  the  use  of  grass  and  game,  paying  them  therefor 
small  annuities  in  useful  articles  of  merchandise,  and  agricult- 
ural implements,  and  instruction.  "The  right  of  way" — 
"  through  their  country."  A  great  deal  is  conceded,  covered, 
and  conveyed  by  such  phrases  as  these.  If  they  mean  any- 
thing, they  mean  all  that  the  Indians  ever  claimed. 

The  Indians  were  supposed  to  be  influenced  to  this  peace- 
ableness  and  good-will  more  by  a  hope  of  rewards  and  gifts 
than  by  a  wholesome  fear  of  the  power  of  the  Q-overnment ; 
and  it  was  proposed  to  take  a  delegation  of  chiefs  to  Washing- 
ton, "  in  order  that  they  may  acquire  some  knowledge  of  our 
greatness  and  strength,  which  will  make  a  salutary  impression 
on  them,  and  through  them  on  their  brethren,"  and  "  will  tend 
to  influence  them  to  continue  peaceful  relations'." 

It  begins  to  dawn  upon  the  Government's  perception  that 
peace  is  cheaper  as  well  as  kinder  than  war.  "  We  never  can 
whip  them  into  friendship,"  says  one  of  the  superintendents  of 
the  Upper  Missouri  Agency.  A  treaty  "  can  do  no  harm,  and 
the  expense  would  be  less  than  that  of  a  six  months'  war.  *  *  * 
Justice  as  well  as  policy  requires  that  we  should  make  some  re- 
muneration for  the  damages  these  Indians  sustain  in  conse- 
quence of  the  destruction  of  their  game,  timber,  etc.,  by  thu 
whites  passing  through  their  country." 


"  Their  game,  timber,"  "  their  country,"  again.  The  perpet- 
ual recun'ence  of  this  possessive  pronoun,  and  of  such  phrases 
as  these  in  all  that  the  Government  has  said  about  the  Indians, 
and  in  all  that  it  has  said  to  them,  is  very  significant. 

In  1850  the  Indian  Commission  writes  that  "it  is  much 
to  be  regretted  that  no  appropriation  was  made  at  the  last  ses- 
sion of  Congress  for  negotiating  treaties  with  the  wild  tribes  of 
the  plains.  These  Indians  have  long  held  undisputed  posses- 
sion of  this  extensive  region;  and,  regarding  it  as  their  own, 
they  consider  themselves  entitled  to  compensation  not  only  for 
the  right  of  way  through  their  territory,  but  for  the  great  and 
injurious  destruction  of  game,  grass,  and  timber  committed  by 
our  troops  and  emigrants." 

The  bill  providing  for  the  negotiation  of  these  treaties  was 
passed  unanimously  by  the  Senate,  but  "  the  unhappy  difficul- 
ties existing  on  the  subject  of  slavery  "  delayed  it  in  the  House 
until  it  was  too  late  to  be  carried  into  effect. 

All  the  tribes  had  been  informed  of  this  pending  bill,  and 
were  looking  forward  to  it  with  great  interest  and  anxiety.  In 
1849  they  had  all  expressed  themselves  as  "very  anxious  to  be 
instructed  in  agriculture  and  the  civilized  arts."  Already  the 
buffalo  herds  were  thinning  and  disappearing.  From  time  im- 
memorial the  buffalo  had  furnished  them  food,  clothing,  and 
shelter ;  witb  its  disappearance,  starvation  stared  them  in  the 
face,  and  they  knew  it.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  at  this 
time  all  the  wild  tribes  of  the  Upper  Missouri  region — the 
Sioux,  Cheyennes,  Arapahoes — were  ready  and  anxious  to  es- 
tablish friendly  relations  with  the  United  States  Government, 
and  to  enter  into  some  arrangement  by  which  some  means  of 
future  subsistence,  and  some  certainty  of  lands  enough  to  live 
on,  could  be  secured  to  them.  Meantime  they  hunted  with 
greater  diligence  than  ever ;  and  in  this  one  year  alone  had  sold 
to  the  fur-traders  within  the  limits  of  one  agency  $330,000 
wprth  of  buffalo -robes,  and  "  furs,  peltries,  and  miscellaneous 


goods  to  the  amount  of  $60,000.  What  they  thus  receive  fot 
their  furs,  robes,  etc.,  would  be  ample  for  their  support,"  says 
Hatton, "  were  it  not  that  they  have  to  give  such  exorbitant 
prices  for  what  they  purchase  from  the  whites." 

In  the  winter  and  spring  of  1850  all  these  tribes  were  visited 
by  an  agent  of  the  Government.  He  reported  them  as  "friend- 
ly disposed,"  but  very  impatient  to  come  to  some  understand- 
ing about  the  right  of  way.  "  This  is  what  the  Indians  want, 
and  what  they  are  anxious  about ;  having  been  told  long  since, 
and  so  often  repeated  by  travellers  passing  (who  care  little 
about  the  consequences  of  promises  so  they  slip  through  safely 
and  unmolested  themselves),  that  their  *  Great  Father '  would 
soon  reward  them  liberally  for  the  right  of  way,  the  destruc- 
tion of  timber,  game,  etc.,  as  well  as  for  any  kindness  shown 
Americans  passing  through  their  country." 

In  the  summer  of  1851  this  much  desired  treaty  was  made. 
Seven  of  the  prairie  and  mountain  tribes  gathered  in  great 
force  at  Fort  Laramie.  The  report  of  this  council  contains 
some  interesting  and  noticeable  points. 

"We  were  eighteen  days  encamped  together,  during  which 
time  the  Indians  conducted  themselves  in  a  manner  that  ex- 
cited the  admiration  and  surprise  of  every  one.  The  different 
tribes,  although  hereditary  enemies,  interchanged  daily  visits, 
both  in  their  individual  and  national  capacities ;  smoked  and 
feasted  together;  exchanged  presents;  adopted  each  other's 
children,  according  to  their  own  customs ;  and  did  all  that  was 
held  sacred  or  solemn  in  the  eyes  of  these  Indians  to  prove 
the  sincerity  of  their  peaceful  and  friendly  intentions,  both 
among  themselves  and  with  the  citizens  of  the  United  States 
lawfully  residing  among  them  or  passing  through  the  country." 

By  this  treaty  the  Indians  formally  conceded  to  the  United 
States  the  right  to  establish  roads,  military  or  otherwise, 
throughout  the  Indian  country,  "  so  far  as  they  claim  or  ex- 
ercise ownership  over  it." 


Thoy  agreed  "  to  maintain  peaceful  relations  among  them- 
selves, and  to  abstain  from  all  depredations  upon  whites  pass- 
ing through  their  country,  and  to  make  restitution  for  any 
damages  or  loss  that  a  white  man  shall  sustain  by  the  acts  of 
their  people." 

For  all  the  damages  which  they  had  suffered  up  to  that  time 
in  consequence  of  the  passing  of  the  whites  through  their  coun- 
try, they  accepted  the  presents  then  received  as  payment  in 

An  annuity  of  $50,000  a  year  for  fifty  years  to  come  was 
promised  to  them.  This  was  the  price  of  the  "  right  of  way." 

"  Fifty  thousand  dollars  for  a  limited  period  of  years  is  a 
small  amount  to  be  distributed  among  at  least  fifty  thousand 
Indians,  especially  when  we  consider  that  we  have  taken  away, 
or  are  rapidly  taking  away  from  them  all  means  of  support," 
says  one  of  the  makers  of  this  treaty.  There  would  probably 
be  no  dissent  from  this  opinion.  A  dollar  a  year,  even  assured 
to  one  for  fifty  years,  seems  hardly  an  adequate  compensation 
for  the  surrender  of  all  other  "means  of  support." 

The  report  continues :  "  Viewing  the  treaty  in  all  its  pro- 
visions, I  am  clearly  of  opinion  that  it  is  the  best  that  could 
have  been  made  for  both  parties.  I  am,  moreover,  of  the  opin- 
ion that  it  will  be  observed  and  carried  out  in  as  good  faith  on 
the  part  of  the  Indians  as  it  will  on  the  part  of  the  United 
States  and  the  white  people  thereof.  There  was  an  earnest 
solemnity  and  a  deep  conviction  of  the  necessity  of  adopting 
some  such  measures  evident  in  the  conduct  and  manners  of 
the  Indians  throughout  the  whole  council.  On  leaving  for 
their  respective  homes,  and  bidding  each  other  adieu,  they  gave 
the  strongest  possible  evidence  of  their  friendly  intentions  for 
the  future,  and  the  mutual  confidence  and  good  faith  which 
they  had  in  each  other.  Invitations  were  freely  given  and  as 
freely  accepted  by  each  of  the  tribes  to  interchange  visits,  talk, 
and  smoke  together  like  brothers,  upon  ground  where  they  had 


never  before  met  except  for  the  purpose  of  scalping  each  other. 
This,  to  my  mind,  was  conclusive  evidence  of  the  sincerity  of 
the  Indians,  and  nothing  but  bad  management  or  some  un- 
toward misfortune  ever  can  break  it." 

The  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  in  his  report  for  this  year, 
speaks  with  satisfaction  of  the  treaties  negotiated  with  Indians 
during  the  year,  and  says :  "  It  cannot  be  denied  that  most  of 
the  depredations  committed  by  the  Indians  on  our  frontiers 
are  the  offspring  of  dire  necessity.  The  advance  of  our  popu- 
lation compels  them  to  relinquish  their  fertile  lands,  and  seek 
refuge  in  sterile  regions  which  furnish  neither  corn  nor  game : 
impelled  by  hunger,  they  seize  the  horses,  mules,  and  cattle  of 
the  pioneers,  to  relieve  their  wants  and  satisfy  the  cravings  of 
nature.  They  are  immediately  pursued,  and,  when  overtaken, 
severely  punished.  This  creates  a  feeling  of  revenge  on  their 
part,  which  seeks  its  gratification  in  outrages  on  the  persons 
and  property  of  peaceable  inhabitants.  The  whole  country 
then  becomes  excited,  and  a  desolating  war,  attended  with  a 
vast  sacrifice  of  blood  and  treasure,  ensues.  This,  it  is  believed, 
is  a  true  history  of  the  origin  of  most  of  our  Indian  hostilities. 

"All  history  admonishes  us  of  the  difficulty  of  civilizing  a 
wandering  race  who  live  mainly  upon  game.  To  tame  a  sav- 
age you  must  tie  him  down  to  the  soil.  You  must  make  him 
understand  the  value  of  property,  and  the  benefits  of  its  sepa- 
rate ownership.  You  must  appeal  to  those  selfish  principles 
implanted  by  Divine  Providence  in  the  nature  of  man  for  the 
wisest  purposes,  and  make  them  minister  to  civilization  and 
refinement.  You  must  encourage  the  appropriation  of  lands 
by  individuals;  attach  them  to  their  homes  by  the  ties  of  in- 
terest; teach  them  the  uses  of  agriculture  and  the  arts  of 
peace ;  *  *  *  and  they  should  be  taught  to  look  forward  to 
the  day  when  they  may  be  elevated  to  the  dignity  of  American 

"By  means  like  these  we  shall  soon  reap  our  reward  in  the 


suppression  of  Indian  depredations ;  in  the  diminution  of  the 
expenses  of  the  Department  of  War ;  in  a  valuable  addition  to 
our  productive  population ;  in  the  increase  of  our  agriculture 
and  commerce;  and  in  the  proud  consciousness  that  we  have 
removed  from,  our  national  escutcheon  the  stain  left  on  it  by 
our  acknowledged  injustice  to  the  Indian  race." 

"We  find  the  Cheyennes,  therefore,  in  1851,  pledged  to  peace 
and  good-will  toward  their  Indian  neighbors,  and  to  the  white 
emigrants  pouring  through  their  country.  For  this  conceded 
right  of  way  they  are  to  have  a  dollar  a  year  apiece,  in  "  goods 
and  animals ;"  and  it  is  supposed  that  they  will  be  able  to  eke 
out  this  support  by  hunting  buffaloes,  which  are  still  not  ex- 

In  1852  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  writes:  "Not- 
withstanding the  mountain  and  prairie  Indians  continue  to  suf- 
fer from  the  vast  number  of  emigrants  who  pass  through  their 
country,  destroying  their  means  of  support,  and  scattering  dis- 
ease and  death  among  them,  yet  those  who  were  parties  to  the 
treaty  concluded  at  Fort  Laramie,  in,  the  fall  of  1851,  have  been 
true  to  their  obligations,  and  have  remained  at  peace  among 
themselves  and  with  the  whites." 

And  the  superintendent  writes :  "  Congress  made  a  very  lib- 
eral appropriation  of  $100,000  to  make  a  treaty  with  the  prai- 
rie and  mountain  tribes.  A  very  satisfactory  treaty  was  made 
with  them  last  fall  at  Fort  Laramie,  the  conditions  of  which, 
on  their  part,  have  been  faithfully  observed — no  depredations 
having  been  committed  during  the  past  season  by  any  of  the 
tribes  parties  to  the  Fort  Laramie  treaty.  The  Senate  amended 
the  treaty,  substituting  fifteen  instead  of  fifty  years  as  the  pe- 
riod for  which  they  were  to  have  received  an  annual  supply  of 
goods,  animals,  etc.,  at  the  discretion  of  the  President.  This 
modification  of  the  treaty  I  think  very  proper,  as  the  condition 
of  these  wandering  hordes  will  be  entirely  changed  during  the 
next  fifteen  years.  The  treaty,  however,  should  have  been  sent 


back  to  the  Indians  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining  their  sanction 
to  the  modification,  as  was  done  in  the  case  of  the  Sioux  treaty 
negotiated  by  Commissioners  Ramsey  and  Lea.  It  is  hoped 
this  oversight  "will  be  corrected  as  early  as  practicable  next 
spring,  otherwise  the  large  amounts  already  expended  will  have 
been  uselessly  wasted,  and  the  Indians  far  more  dissatisfied 
than  ever." 

To  comment  on  the  bad  faith  of  this  action  on  the  part  of 
Congress  would  be  a  waste  of  words;  but  its  impolicy  is  so 
glaring  that  one's  astonishment  cannot  keep  silent — its  impolicy 
and  also  its  incredible  niggardliness.  A  dollar  apiece  a  year, 
"in  goods,  animals," etc.,  those  Indians  had  been  promised  that 
they  should  have  for  fifty  years.  It  must  have  been  patent 
to  the  meanest  intellect  that  this  was  little  to  pay  each  year 
to  any  one  man  from  whom  we  were  taking  away,  as  the  com- 
missioner said,  "his  means  of  support."  But,  unluckily  for  the 
Indians,  there  were  fifty  thousand  of  them.  It  entered  into 
some  thrifty  Congressman's  head  to  multiply  fifty  by  fifty, 
and  the  aggregate  terrified  everybody.  This  was  much  more 
likely  to  have  been  the  cause  of  the  amendment  than  the  cause 
assigned  by  the  superintendent,  viz.,  the  probable  change  of 
localities  of  all  the  "  wandering  hordes "  in  the  next  fifteen 
years.  No  doubt  it  would  be  troublesome  to  the  last  degree 
to  distribute  fifty  thousand  dollars, "  in  goods,  animals,"  etc.,  to 
fifty  thousand  Indians  wandering  over  the  entire  Upper  Mis- 
souri region ;  but  no  more  troublesome,  surely,  in  the  sixteenth 
year  than  in  the  fifteenth.  The  sophistry  is  too  transparent ; 
it  does  not  in  the  least  gloss  over  the  fact  that,  within  the  first 
year  after  the  making  of  our  first  treaty  of  any  moment  with 
these  tribes — while  they  to  a  man,  the  whole  fifty  thousand  of 
them,  kept  their  faith  with  us — we  broke  ours  with  them  in 
the  meanest  of  ways — robbing  them  of  more  than  two-thirds 
of  the  money  we  had  promised  to  pay. 

All  the  tribes  "  promptly  "  assented  to  this  amendment,  how- 


ever ;  so  says  the  Annual  Report  of  the  Indian  Commissioner 
for  1853;  and  adds  that,  with  a  single  exception,  they  have 
maintained  friendly  relations  among  themselves,  and  "mani- 
fested an  increasing  confidence  in  and  kindness  toward  the 

Some  of  them  have  begun  to  raise  corn,  beans,  pumpkins, 
etc.,  but  depend  chiefly  on  the  hunt  for  their  support.  But 
the  agent  who  was  sent  to  distribute  to  them  their  annuities, 
and  to  secure  their  assent  to  the  amendment  to  the  treaty, 
reports:  "The  Cheyennes  and  the  Arapahoes,  and  many  of 
the  Sioux,  are  actually  in  a  starving  state.  They  are  in  abject 
want  of  food  half  the  year,  and  their  reliance  for  that  scanty 
supply,  in  the  rapid  decrease  of  the  buffalo,  is  fast  disappear- 
ing. The  travel  upon  the  roads  drives  them  off,  or  else  con- 
fines them  to  a  narrow  path  during  the  period  of  emigration, 
and  the  different  tribes  are  forced  to  contend  with  hostile 
nations  in  seeking  support  for  their  villages.  Their  women 
are  pinched  with  want,  and  their  children  constantly  crying 
with  hunger.  Their  arms,  moreover,  are  unfitted  to  the  pur- 
suit of  smaller  game,  and  thus  the  lapse  of  a  few  years  pre- 
sents only  the  prospect  of  a  gradual  famine."  And  in  spite 
of  such  suffering,  these  Indians  commit  no  depredations,  and 
show  increasing  confidence  in  and  kindness  toward  the  whites. 

This  agent,  who  has  passed  many  years  among  the  Indians, 
speaks  with  great  feeling  of  the  sad  prospect  staring  them  in 
the  face.  He  says:  "But  one  course  remains  which  promises 
any  permanent  relief  to  them,  or  any  lasting  benefit  to  the 
country  in  which  they  dwell;  that  is,  simply  to  make  such 
modifications  in  the  '  intercourse '  laws  as  will  invite  the  resi- 
dence of  traders  among  them,  and  open  the  whole  Indian  Ter- 
ritory for  settlement.  Trade  is  the  only  civilizer  of  the  Indian. 
It  has  been  the  precursor  of  all  civilization  heretofore,  and  it 
will  be  of  all  hereafter.  It  teaches  the  Indian  the  value  of 
other  things  besides  the  spoils  of  the  chase,  and  offers  to  him 


other  pursuits  and  excitements  than  those  of  war.  All  obstruc- 
tions to  its  freedom, therefore,  only  operate  injuriously.  *  *  * 
The  Indians  would  soon  lose  their  nomadic  character,  and 
forget  the  relations  of  tribes.  *  *  *  And  this,  while  it  would 
avoid  the  cruel  necessity  of  our  present  policy — to  wit,  extinc- 
tion—  would  make  them  an  element  in  the  population,  and 
sharer  in  the  prosperity  of  the  country."  He  says  of  the 
"  system  of  removals,  and  congregating  tribes  in  small  parcels 
of  territory,"  that  it  has  "  eventuated  injuriously  on  those  who 
have  been  subjected  to  it.  It  is  the  legalized  murder  of  a 
whole  nation.  It  is  expensive,  vicious,  and  inhuman,  and  pro- 
ducing these  consequences,  and  these  alone.  The  custom,  being 
judged  by  its  fruits,  should  not  be  persisted  in." 

It  is  in  the  face  of  such  statements,  such  protests  as  these, 
that  the  United  States  Government  has  gone  steadily  on  with 
its  policy,  so  called,  in  regard  to  the  treatment  of  the  Indian. 

In  1854  the  report  from  the  Upper  Missouri  region  is  still 
of  peace  and  fidelity  on  the  part  of  all  the  Indians  who  joined 
in  the  Fort  Laramie  treaty.  "  Not  a  single  instance  of  mur- 
der, robbery,  or  other  depredation  has  been  committed  by 
them,  either  on  the  neighboring  tribes  parties  to  the  treaty  or 
on  whites.  This  is  the  more  remarkable,  as  before  the  treaty 
they  were  foremost  in  the  van  of  thieves  and  robbers — always 
at  war,  pillaging  whoever  they  met,  and  annoying  their  own 
traders  in  their  own  forts." 

In  the  summer  of  this  year  the  Cheyennes  began  to  be  dis- 
satisfied and  impertinent.  At  a  gathering  of  the  northern 
band  at  Fort  Laramie,  one  of  the  chiefs  demanded  that  the 
travel  over  the  Platte  road  should  be  stopped.  He  also,  if  the 
interpreter  was  to  be  relied  on,  said  that  next  year  the  Govern- 
ment must  send  them  out  one  thousand  white  women  for 
wives.  The  Southern  Cheyennes  had  given  up  to  their  agent 
some  Mexican  prisoners  whom  they  had  taken  in  the  spring, 
and  this  act,  it  was  supposed,  had  seemed  to  the  northern  band 


a  needless  interference  on  the  part  of  the  United  States. 
Moreover,  it  was  a  matter  constantly  open  to  the  observation 
of  all  friendly  Indians  that  the  hostiles,  who  were  continually 
plundering  and  attacking  emigrant  trains,  made,  on  the  whole, 
more  profit  out  of  war  than  they  made  out  of  peace.  On  the 
North  Platte  road  during  this  year  the  Pawnees  alone  had 
stolen  several  thousands  of  dollars'  worth  of  goods ;  and,  in 
addition  to  this,  there  was  the  pressure  of  public  sentiment — a 
thing  which  is  as  powerful  among  Indians  as  among  whites.  It 
was  popular  to  be  on  the  war-path :  the  whites  were  invaders ; 
it  was  brave  and  creditable  to  slay  them.  Taking  all  these  things 
into  account,  it  was  only  to  be  wondered  at  that  these  Chey- 
ennes,  Arapahoes,  and  Sioux  kept  to  the  provisions  of  their 
treaty  at  all.  Nevertheless,  the  Cheyennes,  Arapahoes,  and 
some  bands  of  the  Sioux  continued  peaceable  and  friendly; 
and  in  1855  they  begged  to  be  supplied  with  a  farmer  to 
teach  them  how  to  farm ;  also  with  a  blacksmith.  Their  agent 
strongly  recommends  that  this  be  done,  saying  that  there  is 
not  "  in  the  whole  Indian  country  a  more  favorable  location 
for  a  farm  for  grazing  stock  and  game  than  the  South  Platte* 
In  a  very  short  period  of  time  the  Arapahoes  and  Cheyennes 
would  become  fixed  and  settled,  and  a  part  of  each  tribe — the 
old  women  and  men — wou/d  become  agriculturists ;  rude,  it  is 
true,  yet  sufficiently  skilful  to  raise  corn,  potatoes,  and  beans, 
and  dwell  in  cabins  or  fixed  habitations." 

In  the  summer  of  1856  the  Cheyennes  were,  by  a  disastrous 
accident,  forced  into  the  position  of  hostiles.  A  small  war* 
band  went  out  to  attack  the  Pawnees ;  they  were  in  camp  near 
the  North  Platte  road :  as  the  mail-wagon  was  passing,  two  of 
the  Cheyennes  ran  toward  it  to  beg  tobacco.  The  mail- car- 
rier, terrified,  fired  on  them,  and  the  Indians  fired  back,  wound- 
ing him ;  the  chiefs  rushed  out,  stopped  the  firing,  explained 
the  matter,  and  then  severely  flogged  the  Indians  who  had  re- 
turned the  mail-carrier's  fire.  But  the  mischief  had  been  done* 


The  mail-carrier  reported  his  having  been  fired  at  by  a  Chey- 
enne Indian,  and  the  next  day  troops  from  Fort  Keamy  at- 
tacked  the  Indians  and  killed  six  of  the  war-party.  The  rest 
refused  to  fight,  and  ran  away,  leaving  their  camp  and  all  it 
contained.  The  war-party,  thoroughly  exasperated,  attacked 
an  emigrant  train,  killed  two  men  and  a  child,  and  took  one 
woman  captive.  The  next  day  they  killed  her,  because  she 
could  not  ride  on  horseback  and  keep  up  with  them.  Within 
a  short  time  two  more  small  war-parties  had  left  the  band,  at- 
tacked trains,  and  killed  two  men,  two  women,  and  a  child. 
The  chiefs  at  first  could  not  restrain  them,  but  in  September 
they  sent  a  delegation  to  the  agency  to  ask  their  agent's  assist- 
ance and  advice.  They  said  that  the  war-party  was  now  com- 
pletely under  their  control,  and  they  wished  to  know  what 
they  could  do.  They  implored  the  Great  Father  not  to  be  an- 
gry with  them,  "  for  they  could  not  control  the  war-party  when 
they  saw  their  friends  killed  by  soldiers  after  they  had  thrown 
down  their  bows  and  arrows  and  begged  for  life." 

In  October  the  agent  reported  that  the  Cheyennes  were 
"perfectly  quiet  and  peaceable,  and  entirely  within  control, 
and  obedient  to  authority."  The  chiefs  had  organized  a 
sort  of  police,  whose  duty  was  to  kill  any  war  -  parties  that 
might  attempt  to  leave  the  camp. 

Through  the  winter  the  Cheyennes  remained  in  the  south 
and  south-eastern  parts  of  the  agency,  and  strictly  observed  the 
conditions  which  their  agent  had  imposed  upon  them.  In  the 
following  August,  however,  a  military  force  under  General 
Sumner  was  sent  out  "to  demand  from  the  tribe  the  perpetra- 
tors of  their  late  outrages  on  the  whites,  and  ample  security  for 
their  good  conduct."  The  Cheyennes  were  reported  by  Gen- 
eral Sumner  as  showing  no  disposition  to  yield  to  these  de- 
mands ;  he  therefore  attacked  them,  burnt  their  village  to  tho 
ground,  and  destroyed  their  winter  supplies — some  fifteen  or 
twenty  thousand  pounds  of  buffalo  meat. 


Of  how  they  lived,  and  where,  during  the  winter  following  this 
fight,  there  is  little  record.  In  the  next  year's  reports  the  Chey« 
ennes  are  said  to  be  very  anxious  for  a  new  treaty,  which  will  as- 
sign to  them  a  country  in  which  they  can  dwell  safely.  "They 
said  they  had  learned  a  lesson  last  summer  in  their  fight  with 
General  Sumner — that  it  was  useless  to  contend  with  the  white 
man,  who  would  soon  with  his  villages  occupy  the  whole  prai- 
rie. They  wanted  peace ;  and  as  the  buffalo — their  principal 
dependence  for  food  and  clothing  (which  even  now  they  were 
compelled  to  seek  many  miles  from  home,  where  their  natural 
enemies,  the  Pawnee  and  Osage,  roamed),  would  soon  disappeai 
entirely,  they  hoped  their  Great  Father,  the  white  chief  at 
Washington,  would  listen  to  them,  and  give  them  a  home 
where  they  might  be  provided  for  and  protected  against  the 
encroachments  of  their  white  brothers,  until  at  least  they  had 
been  taught  to  cultivate  the  soil  and  other  arts  of  civilized  life. 
They  have  often  desired  ploughs  and  hoes,  and  to  be  taught 
their  use." 

The  next  year's  records  show  the  Government  itself  aware 
that  some  measures  must  be  taken  to  provide  for  these  trouble- 
some wild  tribes  of  the  prairie:  almost  more  perplexing  in 
time  of  peace  than  in  time  of  war  is  the  problem  of  the  dis- 
position to  be  made  of  them.  Agents  and  superintendents 
alike  are  pressing  on  the  Government's  attention  the  facts  and 
the  bearing  of  the  rapid  settling  of  the  Indian  lands  by  the 
whites;  the  precariousness  of  peaceful  relations;  the  dangers 
of  Indian  wars.  The  Indians  themselves  are  deeply  anxious 
and  disturbed. 

"  They  have  heard  that  all  of  the  Indian  tribes  to  the  east 
ward  of  them  have  ceded  their  lands  to  the  United  States,  ex< 
cept  small  reservations ;  and  hence,  by  an  Indian's  reasoning, 
in  a  few  years  these  tribes  will  emigrate  farther  west,  and,  as 
a  matter  of  necessity,  occupy  the  hunting-grounds  of  the  wild 



When  the  agent  of  the  Tipper  Platte  Agency  tried  to  reason 
on  this  subject  with  one  of  the  Sioux  chiefs,  the  chief  said: 
"  When  I  was  a  young  man,  and  I  am  not  yet  fifty,  I  travelled 
with  my  people  through  the  country  of  the  Sac  and  Fox  tribe, 
to  the  great  water  Minne  Toukah  (Mississippi),  where  I  saw 
corn  growing,  but  no  white  people;  continuing  eastward,  we 
came  to  the  Rock  River  valley,  and  saw  the  Winnebagoes,  but 
no  white  people.  We  then  came  to  the  Fox  River  valley,  and 
thence  to  the  Great  Lake  (Lake  Michigan),  where  we  found  a 
few  white  people  in  the  Pottawattomie  country.  Thence  we 
returned  to  the  Sioux  country  at  the  Great  Falls  of  Irara  (St 
Anthony),  and  had  a  feast  of  green  corn  with  our  relations,  who 
resided  there.  Afterward  we  visited  the  pipe -clay  quarry  in 
the  country  of  the  Yankton  Sioux,  and  made  a  feast  to  the 
*  Great  Medicine,'  and  danced  the  '  sun  dance,'  and  then  return- 
ed to  our  hunting-grounds  on  the  prairie.  And  now  our  Father 
tells  us  the  white  man  will  never  settle  on  our  lands,  and  kill 
our  game;  but  see!  the  whites  cover  all  of  those  lands  I  have 
just  described,  and  also  the  lands  of  the  Poncas,  Omahas,  and 
Pawnees.  On  the  South  Platte  the  white  people  are  finding 
gold,  and  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  have  no  longer  any 
hunting-grounds.  Our  country  has  become  very  small,  and  be- 
fore our  children  are  grown  up  we  shall  have  no  game." 

In  the  autumn  of  this  year  (1859)  an  agent  was  sent  to  hold 
a  council  with  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes,  and  tell  them  of 
the  wish  of  the  Government  that  they  should  "  assume  a  fixed 
residence,  and  occupy  themselves  in  agriculture.  This  they  at 
once  received  with  favor,  and  declared  with  great  unanimity  to 
be  acceptable  to  them.  They  expected  and  asked  that  the  De- 
partment shall  supply  them  with  what  is  necessary  to  establish 
themselves  permanently.  *  *  *  Both  those  tribes  had  scrupu- 
lously maintained  peaceful  relations  with  the  whites,  and  with 
other  Indian  tribes,  notwithstanding  the  many  causes  of  irrita- 
tion growing  out  of  the  occupation  of  the  gold  region,  and  the 


emigration  to  it  through  their  hunting -grounds,  which  are  no 
longer  reliable  as  a  certain  source  of  food  to  them." 

It  was  estimated  that  during  the  summer  of  1859  over  sixty 
thousand  emigrants  crossed  these  plains  in  their  central  belt. 
The  trains  of  vehicles  and  cattle  were  frequent  and  valuable  in 
proportion ;  and  post  lines  and  private  expresses  were  in  con- 
stant motion. 

In  1860  a  commissioner  was  sent  out  to  hold  a  council  with 
the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  at  Bent's  Fort,  on  the  Upper 
Arkansas,  and  mate  a  treaty  with  them.  The  Arapahoes  were 
fully  represented ;  but  there  were  present  only  two  prominent 
chiefs  of  the  Cheyennes — Black  Kettle  and  White  'Antelope. 
(White  Antelope  was  one  of  the  chiefs  brutally  murdered  five 
years  later  in  the  Chivington  massacre  in  Colorado.)  As  it 
was  impossible  for  the  rest  of  the  Cheyennes  to  reach  the  Fort 
in  less  than  twenty  days,  and  the  commissioner  could  not  wait 
so  long,  Black  Kettle  and  White  Antelope  wished  it  to  be  dis- 
tinctly understood  that  they  pledged  only  themselves  and  their 
own  bands. 

The  commissioner  says :  "  I  informed  them  as  to  the  object 
of  my  visit,  and  gave  them  to  understand  that  their  Great 
Father  had  heard  with  delight  of  their  peaceful  disposition, 
although  they  were  almost  in  the  midst  of  the  hostile  tribes. 
They  expressed  great  pleasure  on  learning  that  their  Great  Fa- 
ther had  heard  of  their  good  conduct,  and  requested  ine  to  say, 
in  return,  that  they  intended  in  every  respect  to  conform  to  the 
wishes  of  the  Government.  I  then  presented  to  them  a  dia- 
gram of  the  country  assigned  them,  by  their  treaty  of  1851,  as 
their  hunting-grounds,  which  they  seemed  to  understand  per- 
fectly, and  were  enabled  without  difficulty  to  give  each  initial 
point.  In  fact,  they  exhibited  a  degree  of  intelligence  seldom 
to  bo  found  among  tribes  where  no  effort  has  been  made  to 
civilize  them.  I  stated  to  them  that  it  was  the  intention  of 
their  Great  Father  to  reduce  the  area  of  their  present  reserve 


tion,  and  that  they  should  settle  down  and  betake  themselves 
to  agriculture,  and  eventually  abandon  the  chase  as  a  means  of 
support.  They  informed  me  that  such  was  their  wish;  and 
that  they  had  been  aware  for  some  time  that  they  would  be 
compelled  to  do  so :  that  game  was  growing  more  scarce  every 
year,  and  that  they  had  also  noticed  the  approach  of  whites, 
and  felt  that  they  must  soon,  in  a  great  measure,  conform  to 
their  habits.  *  *  *  It  has  not  fallen  to  my  lot  to  visit  any 
Indians  who  seem  more  disposed  to  yield  to  the  wishes  of  the 
Government  than  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes.  Notwith- 
standing they  are  fully  aware  of  the  rich  mines  discovered  in 
their  country,  they  are  disposed  to  yield  up  their  claims  with- 
out any  reluctance.  They  certainly  deserve  the  fostering  hand 
of  the  Government,  and  should  be  liberally  encouraged  in  their 
new  sphere  of  life." 

This  treaty  was  concluded  in  February  of  the  next  year,  at 
Fort  Wise.  The  chiefs  of  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  there 
"  ceded  and  relinquished  "  all  the  lands  to  which  they  had  any 
claim,  "  wherever  situated,"  except  a  certain  tract  whose  boun- 
daries were  defined.  The  land  relinquished  included  lands  in 
Kansas  and  Nebraska,  and  all  of  that  part  of  Colorado  which  is 
north  of  the  Arkansas,  and  east  of  the  Rocky  Mountains. 

The  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes,  in  "  consideration  of  their 
kind  treatment  by  the  citizens  of  Denver  and  the  adjoining 
towns,"  "respectfully  requested,"  in  the  eleventh  Article  of 
this  treaty,  that  the  United  States  would  permit  the  proprietors 
of  these  towns  to  enter  their  lands  at  the  minimum  price  of 
one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  an  acre.  This  Article  was 
struck  out  by  the  Senate,  and  the  Indians  consented  to  the 
amendment;  but  the  proof  of  their  good -will  and  gratitude 
remained  on  record,  nevertheless. 

The  desire  of  the  Government  to  make  farmers  of  these  In- 
dians was  reiterated  in  this  treaty,  and  evidenced  by  pledges 
of  purchase  of  stock,  agricultural  implements,  etc. ;  mills,  also, 


and  mechanic  shops  they  were  to  have,  and  an  annuity  of 
$30,000  a  year  for  fifteen  years.  There  was  this  clause,  how- 
ever, in  an  article  of  the  treaty,  "  Their  annuities  may,  at  the 
discretion  of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  be  discon- 
tinued entirely  should  said  Indians  fail  to  make  reasonable 
and  satisfactory  efforts  to  improve  and  advance  their  condi- 
tion ;  in  which  case  such  other  provision  shall  be  made  for 
them  as  the  President  and  Congress  may  judge  to  be  suitable 
or  proper."  Could  there  be  a  more  complete  signing  away 
than  this  of  all  benefits  provided  for  by  the  treaty  ? 

Lands  were  to  be  assigned  to  them  "in  severalty,"  and  cer- 
tificates were  to  be  issued  by  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Af- 
fairs, specifying  the  names  of  individuals ;  and  that  the  "  said 
tracts  were  set  apart  for  the  exclusive  use  and  benefit  of  the 
assignees  and  their  heirs."  Each  Indian  was  to  have  forty 
acres  of  land,  "  to  include  in  every  case,  as  far  as  practicable, 
a  reasonable  portion  of  timber  and  water." 

The  tenth  Article  of  the  treaty  provided  that  the  annuities 
now  paid  to  the  Arapahoes  and  Cheyennes  should  be  continued 
to  them  until  the  stipulations  of  such  treaties  or  articles  of 
agreement  should  be  fulfilled;  and  the  seventh  Article  pro- 
vided that  the  President,  with  the  assent  of  Congress,  should 
have  power  to  modify  or  -change  any  "  of  the  provisions  of  for- 
mer treaties "  "  in  such  manner  and  to  whatever  extent "  he 
might  judge  it  to  be  necessary  and  expedient  for  their  best 

Could  a  community  of  people  be  delivered  up  more  com- 
pletely bound  and  at  the  mercy  of  a  government  ?  Some  of 
the  bands  of  the  Cheyennes  who  were  not  represented  at  this 
council  were  much  dissatisfied  with  the  treaty,  as  evidently 
they  had  great  reason  to  be.  And  as  time  went  on,  all  the 
bands  became  dissatisfied.  Two  years  later  we  find  that,  in- 
stead of  their  being  settled  on  those  farms  "  in  severalty,"  the 
survey  of  their  lands  has  been  just  completed,  and  that  "a 


contract  will  soon  be  made  for  the  construction  of  a  ditch  for 
the  purpose  of  irrigating  their  arable  land."  "It  is  to  be 
hoped,"  the  Superintendent  of  the  Colorado  Agency  writes, 
that  "  when  suitable  preparations  for  their  subsistence  by  agri- 
culture and  grazing  are  made,  these  tribes  will  gradually  cease 
their  roaming,  and  become  permanently  settled."  It  would 
seem  highly  probable  that  under  those  conditions  the  half- 
starved  creatures  would  be  only  too  glad  to  cease  to  roam.  It 
is  now  ten  years  since  they  were  reported  to  be  in  a  condition 
of  miserable  starvation  every  winter,  trying  to  raise  a  little 
corn  here  and  there,  and  begging  to  have  a  farmer  and  a  black- 
smith sent  out  to  them.  They  are  now  divided  and  subdivided 
into  small  bands,  hunting  the  buffalo  wherever  they  can  find 
him,  and  going  in  small  parties  because  there  are  no  longer 
large  herds  of  buffaloes  to  be  found  anywhere.  The  Governor 
of  Colorado  says,  in  his  report  for  1863,  that  "these  extensive 
subdivisions  of  the  tribes  caused  great  difficulty  in  ascertain- 
ing the  really  guilty  parties  in  the  commission  of  offences." 
Depredations  and  hostilities  are  being  frequently  committed, 
but  it  is  manifestly  unjust  to  hold  the  whole  tribe  responsible 
for  the  acts  of  a  few. 

Things  grew  rapidly  worse  in  Colorado.  Those  "prepara- 
tions for  their  subsistence  by  agriculture  and  grazing" — which 
it  took  so  much  room  to  tell  in  the  treaty — not  having  been 
made ;  the  farmer,  and  the  blacksmith,  and  the  grist-mill  not 
having  arrived ;  the  contract  not  having  been  even  let  for  the 
irrigating-ditch,  without,  which  no  man  can  raise  any  crops  in 
Colorado,  not  even  on  arable  lands — many  of  the  Cheyenncs 
and  Arapahoes  took  to  a  system  of  pilfering  reprisals  from 
emigrant  trains,  and  in  the  fights  resulting  from  this  effort  to 
steal  they  committed  many  terrible  murders.  All  the  tribes  on 
the  plains  were  more  or  less  engaged  in  these  outrages ;  and  it 
was  evident,  before  midsummer  of  1864,  that  the  Government 
must  interfere  with  a  strong  hand  to  protect  the  emigrants  and 


Western  settlers — to  protect  them  from  the  consequences  of  its 
own  bad  faith  with  the  Indians.  The  Governor  of  Colorado 
called  for  military  aid,  and  for  authority  to  make  a  campaign 
against  the  Indians,  which  was  given  lum.  But  as  there  was  no 
doubt  that  many  of  the  Indians  were  still  peaceable  and  loyal, 
and  he  desired  to  avoid  every  possibility  of  their  sharing  in 
the  punishment  of  the  guilty,  he  issued  a  proclamation  in 
June,  requesting  all  who  were  friendly  to  come  to  places  which 
he  designated,  where  they  were  to  be  assured  of  safety  and  pro- 
tection. This  proclamation  was  sent  to  all  the  Indians  of  the 
plains.  In  consequence  of  it,  several  bands  of  friendly  Arapa- 
hoes  and  Cheyennes  came  to  Fort  Lyon,  and  were  there  re- 
ceived by  the  officer  in  charge,  rationed,  and  assured  of  safety. 
Here  there  occurred,  on  the  29th  of  November,  one  of  the  foul- 
est massacres  which  the  world  has  seen.  This  camp  of  friend- 
ly Indians  was  surprised  at  daybreak,  and  men,  women,  and 
children  were  butchered  in  cold  blood.  Most  of  those  who 
escaped  fled  to  the  north,  and,  joining  other  bands  of  the 
tribe,  proceeded  at  once  to  take  most  fearful,  and,  it  must  be 
said,  natural  revenge.  A  terrible  war  followed.  Some 'of  them 
confederated  with  the  Sioux,  and  waged  relentless  war  on  all 
the  emigrant  routes  across  the  plains.  These  hostilities  were 
bitter  in  proportion  to  the  bitterness  of  resentment  felt  by  the 
refugees  from  this  massacre.  "  It  will  be  long  before  faith  in 
the  honor  and  humanity  of  the  whites  can  be  re-established  in 
the  minds  of  these  barbarians,"  says  an  official  report,  "and 
the  last  Indian  who  escaped  from  the  brutal  scene  at  Sand 
Creek  will  probably  have  died  before  its  effects  will  have  dis- 

In  October  of  the  next  year  some  of  the  bands,  having  first 
had  their  safety  assured  by  an  old  and  tried  friend,  L  H.  Leav- 
enworth,  Indian  Agent  for  the  Upper  Arkansas,  gathered  to* 

*  See  Appendix,  Arts;  L  and  XL 


gether  to  hold  a  council  with  United  States  Commissioners  on 
the  Little  Arkansas.  The  commissioners  were  empowered  by 
the  President  to  restore  to  the  survivors  of  the  Sand  Creek  mas- 
sacre full  value  for  all  the  property  then  destroyed ;  "  to  make 
reparation,"  so  far  as  possible.  To  each  woman  who  had  lost  a 
husband  there  they  gave  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land ; 
to  each  child  who  had  lost  a  parent,  the  same.  Probably  even 
an  Indian  woman  would  consider  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres 
of  land  a  poor  equivalent  for  a  murdered  husband ;  but  the 
offers  were  accepted  in  good  part  by  the  tribe,  and  there  is 
nothing  in  all  the  history  of  this  patient  race  more  pathetic 
than  the  calm  and  reasonable  language  employed  by  some  of 
these  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe  chiefs  at  this  council.  Said 
Black  Kettle,  the  chief  over  whose  lodge  the  American  flag, 
with  a  white  flag  tied  below,  was  floating  at  the  time  of  the 
massacre,  "  I  once  thought  that  I  was  the  only  man  that  perse- 
vered to  be  the  friend  of  the  white  man ;  but  since  they  have 
come  and  cleaned  out  our  lodges,  horses,  and  everything  else, 
it  is  hard  for  me  to  believe  white  men  any  more.  *  *  *  All  my 
friends,  the  Indians  that  are  holding  back,  they  are  afraid  to 
come  in ;  are  afraid  that  they  will  be  betrayed  as  I  have  been. 
I  am  not  afraid  of  white  men,  but  come  and  take  you  by  the 
hand."  Elsewhere,  Black  Kettle  spoke  of  Colonel  Chivington's 
troops  as  "that  fool -band  of  soldiers  that  cleared  out  our 
lodges,  and  killed  our  women  and  children.  This  is  hard  on 
us."  With  a  magnanimity  and  common -sense  which  white 
men  would  have  done  well  to  imitate  in  their  judgments  of  the 
Indians,  he  recognized  that  it  would  be  absurd,  as  well  as  un- 
just, to  hold  all  white  men  in  distrust  on  account  of  the  acts 
of  that  "fool-band  of  soldiers."* 

*  Gen.  Harney,  on  being  asked  by  Bishop  W hippie  if  Black  Kettle  were 
a  hostile  Indian,  replied,  laying  his  hand  on  his  heart,  "  I  have  worn  this 
uniform  fifty-five  years.  He  was  as  true  a  friend  of  the  white  man  as  I  am." 


By  the  terms  of  this  treaty,  a  new  reservation  was  to  be  set 
apart  for  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes ;  hostile  acts  on  either 
side  were  to  be  settled  by  arbitration;  no  whites  were  to  be 
allowed  on  the  reservation ;  a  large  tract  of  country  was  to  be 
"relinquished"  by  the  Indians,  but  they  were  "expressly  per- 
mitted to  reside  upon  and  range  at  pleasure  throughout  the  un- 
settled portions  of  that  part  of  the  country  they  claim  as  origi- 
nally theirs."  The  United  States  reserved  the  right  to  build 
roads  and  establish  forts  in  the  reservation,  and  pledged  itself  to 
pay  "  annually,  for  the  period  of  forty  years,"  certain  sums  of 
money  to  each  person  in  the  tribe :  twenty  dollars  a  head  till 
they  were  settled  on  their  reservation ;  after  that,  forty  dollars 
a  head.  To  this  end  an  accurate  annual  census  of  the  Indians 
was  promised  at  the  time  of  the  annuity  payment  in  the  spring. 

The  Indians  went  away  from  this  council  full  of  hope  and 
satisfaction.  Their  oldest  friends,  Colonel  Bent  and  Kit  Carson, 
were  among  the  commissioners,  and  they  felt  that  at  last  they 
had  a  treaty  they  could  trust  Their  old  reservation  in  Colora- 
do (to  which  they  probably  could  never  have  been  induced  to 
return)  was  restored  to  the  public  domain  of  that  territory,  and 
they  hoped  in  their  new  home  for  greater  safety  and  peace. 
The  Apaches,  who  had  heretofore  been  allied  with  the  Kiowas 
and  Comanches,  were  now  allied  with  them,  and  to  have  the 
benefits  of  the  new  treaty.  A  small  portion  of  the  tribe — 
chiefly  young  men  of  a  turbulent  nature — still  held  aloof,  and 
refused  to  come  under  the  treaty  provisions.  One  riotous  band, 
called  the  Dog  Soldiers,  were  especially  refractory ;  but,  before 
the  end  of  the  next  year,  they  also  decided  to  go  southward 
and  join  the  rest  of  the  tribe  on  the  new  reservation.  Occa- 
sional hostilities  took  place  in  the  course  of  the  winter,  one  of 
which  it  is  worth  while  to  relate,  the  incident  is  so  typical  a  one. 

On  the  21st  of  February  a  son  of  one  Mr.  Boggs  was  killed 
and  scalped  by  a  party  of  four  Cheyenne  Indians  about  six 
miles  east  of  Fort  Dodge,  on  the  Arkansas  River.  On  invesr 



tigation,  it  appeared  that  Mr.  Boggs  bad  gone  to  the  Indian 
camp  without  any  authority,  and  had  there  traded  ofE  eleven 
one-dollar  bills  for  ten-dollar  bills.  The  Indian  on  whom  this 
trick  had  been  played  found  Mr.  Boggs  out,  went  to  him,  and 
demanded  reparation ;  and,  in  the  altercation  and  fight  which 
ensued,  Mr.  Boggs's  son  was  killed.  This  story  is  given  in  the 
official  report  of  Lieutenant-colonel  Gordon,  U.S.  A.,  and  Colonel 
Gordon  adds,  "I  think  this  case  needs  no  further  comment." 

The  Cheyennes  did  not  long  remain  at  peace ;  in  the  sum- 
mer the  Senate  had  added  to  this  last  treaty  an  amendment 
requiring  their  new  reservation  to  be  entirely  "outside  the 
State  of  Kansas,  and  not  within  any  Indian  territory,  except 
on  consent  of  the  tribes  interested."  As  the  reservation  had 
been  partly  in  Kansas,  and  partly  on  the  lands  of  the  Cherokces, 
this  amendment  left  them  literally  without  any  home  what- 
ever. Tinder  these  circumstances,  the  young  men  of  the  tribe 
soon  began  to  join  again  with  other  hostile  Indians  in  commit- 
ting depredations  and  hostilities  along  the  great  mail-routes  on 
the  plains.  Again  they  were  visited  with  summary  and  appar- 
ently deserved  vengeance  by  the  United  States  troops,  and  in 
the  summer  of  1867  a  Cheyenne  village  numbering  three  hun- 
dred lodges  was  burnt  by  United  States  soldiers  under  Gen- 
eral Hancock.  Fortunately  the  women  and  children  had  all 
fled  on  the  first  news  of  the  approach  of  the  army.  Soon  after 
this  another  council  was  held  with  them,  and  once  more  the 
precarious  peace  was  confirmed  by  treaty ;  but  was  almost  im- 
mediately broken  again  in  consequence  of  the  failure  of  the 
Government  to  comply  with  the  treaty  provisions.  That  some 
members  of  these  tribes  had  also  failed  to  keep  to  the  treaty 
provisions  is  undoubtedly  true,  but  by  far  the  greater  part  of 
them  were  loyal  and  peaceable.  "  The  substantial  cause  of  this 
war,"  however,  was  acknowledged  by  the  Indian  Bureau  itself 
to  be  "  the  fact  that  the  Department,  for  want  of  appropriations, 
was  compelled  to  stop  their  supplies,  and  to  permit  them  to 
recur  to  the  chase  for  subsistence." 


In  1868  "the  country  bounded  east  by  the  State  of  Arkan- 
sas, south  by  Texas,  north  by  Kansas,  and  west  by  the  hun- 
dredth meridian  of  longitude,  was  set  apart  for  the  exclusive 
use  of  the  Cheyennes,  Arapahoes,  Kiowas,  and  Comanches,  and 
such  other  bands  as  might  be  located  there  by  proper  author- 
ity;" and  the  whole  was  declared  to  constitute  "a  military  dis- 
trict," under  command  of  Major-general  Hazen,  U.S.A.  In  Oc- 
tober of  the  same  year  Major  Wynkoop,  who  had  been  the  faith- 
ful friend  of  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  ever  since  the  days 
of  Sand  Creek,  published  his  last  protest  in  their  behalf,  in  a 
letter  to  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs.  He  says  that  the 
failure  of  the  Government  to  fulfil  treaty  provisions  in  the  mat- 
ter of  supplies  forced  them  to  resort  to  hunting  again;  and 
then  the  refusal  of  the  Government  to  give  them  the  arms  and 
ammunition  promised  in  the  treaty,  left  them  without  any 
means  of  seeming  the  game;  hence  the  depredations.  The 
chiefs  had  promised  to  deliver  up  the  guilty  ones  to  Major 
Wynkoop,  "  but  before  sufficient  time  had  elapsed  for  them  to 
fulfil  their  promises  the  troops  were  in  the  field,  and  the  Indians 
in  flight.  *  *  *  Even  after  the  majority  of  the  Cheyennes  had 
been  forced  to  take  the  war-path,  in  consequence  of  the  bad 
acts  of  some  of  their  nation,  several  bands  of  the  Cheyennes, 
and  the  whole  Arapahoe  tribe,  could  have  been  kept  at  peace 
had  proper  action  been  taken  at  the  time ;  but  now  all  the  In- 
dians of  the  Upper  Arkansas  are  engaged  in  the  struggle."* 

In  1869  many  Arapahoes  and  Cheyennes  had  made  their 
way  to  Montana,  and  were  living  with  the  Gros  Ventres ;  most 
of  those  who  remained  at  the  south  were  quiet,  and  seemed  to 
be  disposed  to  observe  the  provisions  of  the  treaty,  but  were 
earnestly  imploring  to  be  moved  farther  to  the  north,  where 
they  might  hunt  buffalo. 

*  On  October  27th  of  this  year  Black  Kettle  and  his  entire  band  were 
killed  by  Gen,  Ouster's  command  at  Antelope  Hills,  on  the  Wichita  River. 


In  1870,  under  the  care  of  an  agent  of  the  Society  of 
Friends,  the  improvement  of  the  Southern  Cheyennes  was  re- 
markable. Buildings  were  put  up,  land  was  broken  and  plant- 
ed, and  the  agent  reports  that,  "with  proper  care  on  the  part  of 
the  Government,"  there  will  not  be  any  "  serious  trouble  "  with 
the  tribe,  although  there  are  still  some  "restless  spirits"  among 

In  1872  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  are  reported  as  "al- 
lied to  the  Government  in  the  maintenance  of  peace  on  the 
border.  Very  strong  inducements  have  been  made  by  the  raid- 
ing bands  of  Kiowas,  at  critical  times  in  the  past  two  years,  to 
join  them  in  hostile  alliance  in  raids  against  the  whites ;  but 
all  such  appeals  have  been  rejected,  and,  as  a  tribe,  they  have 
remained  loyal  and  peaceful." 

Thirty  lodges  of  the  Northern  Cheyennes  returned  this  year 
and  joined  their  tribe,  but  many  of  them  were  still  roaming 
among  the  Northern  Sioux.  In  1874  there  were  said  to  be 
over  three  thousand  of  these  Northern  Cheyennes  and  Arapa- 
hoes at  the  Red  Cloud  Agency.  The  Government  refused  any 
longer  to  permit  them  to  stay  there ;  and,  after  repeated  pro- 
tests, and  expressions  of  unwillingness  to  move,  they  at  last 
consented  to  go  to  the  Indian  Territory.  But  their  removal 
was  deferred,  on  account  of  the  unsettled  state  of  the  South- 
ern Cheyennes.  Early  in  the  spring  troubles  had  broken  out 
among  them,  in  consequence  of  a  raid  of  horse -.thieves  on 
their  reservation.  The  chief,  Little  Robe,  lost  forty-three  head 
of  valuable  ponies.  These  ponies  were  offered  for  sale  in 
Dodge  City,  Kansas,  where  Little  Robe's  son,  with  a  small 
band  of  young  men,  made  an  unsuccessful  effort  to  reclaim 
them.  Failing  in  this,  the  band,  on  their  way  back,  stole  the 
first  stock  they  came  to ;  were  pursued  by  the  Kansas  farmers, 
the  stock  recaptured,  and  Little  Robe's  son  badly  wounded. 
This  was  sufficient  to  bring  on  a  general  war  against  white 
men  in  the  whole  region;  and  the  history  of  the  next  few 


months  was  a  history  of  murders  and  outrages  by  Cheyennes, 
Kiowas,  Osages,  and  Comanches.  Sixty  lodges  of  the  Chey- 
ennes took  refuge  under  the  protection  of  the  United  States 
troops  at  the  agency,  and  the  old  problem  returned  again,  how 
to  punish  the  guilty  without  harming  the  innocent.  A  vigor- 
ous military  campaign  was  carried  on  under  General  Miles 
against  the  hostiles  until,  in  the  spring  of  1875,  the  main  body 
surrendered.  Wretched,  half  starved,  more  than  half  naked, 
without  lodges,  ponies — a  more  pitiable  sight  was  never  seen 
than  this  band  of  Indians.  It  was  inconceivable  how  they  had 
so  long  held  out ;  nothing  but  a  well-nigh  indomitable  pride 
and  inextinguishable  hatred  of  the  whites  and  sense  of  wrongs 
could  have  supported  them.  It  was  decided  that  thirty-three 
of  the  most  desperate  ones  should  be  sent  as  prisoners  to  St. 
Augustine,  Florida ;  but  before  the  selection  was  completed  a 
general  stampede  among  the  surrendered  braves  took  place,  re- 
sulting in  the  final  escape  of  some  four  hundred.  They  held 
their  ground  from  two  P.  M.  until  dark  against  three  companies 
of  cavalry  and  two  Gatlin  guns,  and,  "  under  cover  of  an  ex- 
tremely dark  and  stormy  night,  escaped,  leaving  only  three 
dead  on  the  field."  It  is  impossible  not  to  admire  such  bravery 
as  this.  The  Report  of  the  Indian  Bureau  for  1875  says  of 
the  condition  of  affairs  at  this  agency  at  this  time:  "The 
friendly  Cheyennes  have  had  their  loyalty  put  to  the  severest 
test  by  comparing  their  own  condition  with  that  of  the  full-fed 
and  warmly-housed  captives  of  the  War  Department.  Notwith- 
standing all  privations,  they  have  been  unswerving  in  their 
friendship,  and  ever  ready  to  assist  the  agent  in  maintaining 
order,  and  compelling  the  Northern  Cheyennes  who  have  vis- 
ited the  agency  to  submit  to  a  count."  In  consequence  of  the 
hostilities,  they  were  obliged  to  remain  close  to  the  agency  in 
camp — a  hardship  that  could  hardly  be  endured,  and  resulted 
in  serious  suffering.  Their  rations  were  not  enough  to  subsist 
them,  and  yet,  being  cut  off  from  hunting,  they  were  entirely 


dependent  on  them.  And  even  these  inadequate  rations  did 
not  arrive  when  they  were  due.  Their  agent  writes,  in  1875 : 
"On  last  year's  flour  contract  not  a  single  pound  was  received 
until  the  fourteenth  day  of  First  Month,  1875,  when  six  months 
of  cold  weather  and  many  privations  had  passed,  notwithstand- 
ing the  many  protestations  and  urgent  appeals  from  the  agent." 

The  now  thoroughly  subjugated  Cheyennes  went  to  work 
with  a  will.  In  one  short  year  they  are  reported  as  so  anxious 
to  cultivate  the  ground  that,  when  they  could  not  secure  the 
use  of  a  plough  or  hoe,  they  used  "  axes,  sticks  of  wood,  and 
their  hands,  in  preparing  the  ground,  planting  and  cultivating 
their  garden  spots." 

The  Northern  Cheyennes  are  still  on  the  Ked  Cloud  Agency, 
and  are  reported  as  restless  and  troublesome. 

In  1877  they  were  all  removed  to  the  Cheyenne  and  Arapa- 
hoe  Agency,  in  Indian  Territory.  The  Reports  of  the  Depart- 
ment say  that  they  asked  to  be  taken  there.  The  winter  of 
1866  and  the  summer  of  1867  were  seasons  of  great  activity 
and  interest  at  this  agency.  In  the  autumn  they  went  off  on  a 
grand  buffalo  hunt,  accompanied  by  a  small  detail  of  troops 
from  Fort  Reno.  Early  in  the  winter  white  horse  -  thieves 
began  to  make  raids  on  their  ponies,  and  stole  so  many  that 
many  of  the  Indians  were  obliged  to  depend  on  their  friends' 
ponies  to  help  them  return  home.  Two  hundred  and  sixty  in 
all  were  stolen — carried,  as  usual,  to  Dodge  City  and  sold.  A 
few  were  recovered ;  but  the  loss  to  the  Indians  was  estimated 
at  two  thousand  nine  hundred  dollars.  "Such  losses  are 
very  discouraging  to  the  Indians,"  writes  their  agent,  and 
are  "  but  a  repetition  of  the  old  story  that  brought  on  the  war 
of  1874." 

In  midsummer  of  this  year  the  "  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe 
Transportation  Company"  was  formed:  forty  wagons  were 
sent  out,  with  harness,  by  the  Government;  the  Indians  fur- 
nished the  horses ;  and  on  the  19th  of  July  the  Indians  set  out 


in  their  new  r6le  of  "  freighters  "  of  their  own  supplies.  They 
went  to  Wichita,  Kansas — one  hundred  and  sixty-five  miles — in 
six  days,  with  their  ponies ;  loaded  sixty-five  thousand  pounds 
of  supplies  into  the  wagons,  and  made  the  return  trip  in  two 
weeks,  all  things  being  delivered  in  good  condition. 

This  experiment  was  thoroughly  tested ;  and  its  results  are 
notable  among  the  many  unheeded  refutations  of  the  constant- 
ly repeated  assertion  that  Indians  will  not  work.  The  agent 
of  the  Cheyennes  and  the  Arapahoes,  testifying  before  a  Sen- 
ate Committee  in  1879,  says:  "We  have  run  a  wagon  train, 
driven  by  Indians,  to  Wichita,  for  three  years  and  over,  and 
have  never  had  a  drunken  Indian  yet." 

"  Do  they  waste  their  money,  or  bring  it  home  ?" 

"They  almost  invariably  spend  it  for  saddles  or  clothing, 
or  something  of  use  to  them  that  is  not  furnished  by  the  Gov- 
ernment. *  *  *  They  have  never  stolen  an  ounce  of  sugar, 
coffee,  or  anything  else :  they  have  been  careful  not  to  injure 
or  waste  anything,  and  have  delivered  everything  in  good 

The  agent  reports  not  a  single  case  of  drunkenness  during 
the  year.  The  manual  labor  and  boarding-school  has  one  hun- 
dred and  thirteen  scholars  in  it,  "all  it  can  accommodate." 
The  children  earned  four  hundred  dollars  in  the  year  by  work 
of  one  sort  and  another,  and  have  "  expended  the  money  as 
judiciously  as  would  white  children  of  their  ages."  They 
bought  calico,  cotton  cloth,  shoes,  hats,  several  head  of  cattle, 
and  one  horse.  They  also  "bought  many  delicacies  for  their 
friends  in  camp  who  were  sick  and  in  need." 

"  One  Cheyenne  woman  tanned  robes,  traded  them  for  twen- 
ty-five two-year-old  heifers,  and  gave  them  to  her  daughter  in 
the  school.  *  *  *  The  boys  have  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres 
of  corn  under  cultivation,  ten  acres  of  potatoes,  broom-corn, 
sugar-cane,  peanuts,  melons,  and  a  good  variety  of  vegetables. 
They  are  entitled  to  one-half  the  crop  for  cultivating  ft." 


This  is  a  marvellous  report  of  the  change  wrought  in  a  peo- 
ple in  only  two  years'  time.  It  proves  that  the  misdemeanors, 
the  hostilities  of  1874  and  1875,  had  been  largely  forced  on 
them  by  circumstances. 

The  winter  of  1877  and  summer  of  1878  were  terrible 
seasons  for  the  Cheyennes.  Their  fall  hunt  had  proved  un- 
successful. Indians  from  other  reservations  had  hunted  the 
ground  over  before  them,  and  driven  the  buffalo  off ;  and  the 
Cheyennes  made  their  way  home  again  in  straggling  parties, 
destitute  and  hungry.  Their  agent  reports  that  the  result  of 
this  hunt  has  clearly  proved  that  "in  the  future  the  Indian 
must  rely  on  tilling  the  ground  as  the  principal  means  of  sup- 
port ;  and  if  this  conviction  can  be  firmly  established,  the  great- 
est obstacle  to  advancement  in  agriculture  will  be  overcome. 
With  the  buffalo  gone,  and  their  pony  herds  being  constantly 
decimated  by  the  inroads  of  horse -thieves,  they  must  soon 
adopt,  in  all  its  varieties,  the  way  of  the  white  man.  *  *  *  Tho 
usual  amount  of  horse-stealing  has  prevailed,  and  the  few  cases 
of  successful  pursuit  have  only  increased  the  boldness  of  the 
thieves  and  the  number  of  the  thefts.  Until  some  other  sys- 
tem of  law  is  introduced  we  cannot  hope  for  a  cessation  of  this 

The  ration  allowed  to  these  Indians  is  reported  as  being  "  re- 
duced and  insufficient,"  and  the  small  sums  they  have  been 
able  to  earn  by  selling  buffalo-hides  are  said  to  have  been  "  of 
material  assistance"  to  them  in  "  supplementing"  this  ration. 
But  in  this  year  there  have  been  sold  only  $657  worth  of 
skins  by  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes  together.  In  1876 
they  sold  $17,600  worth.  Here  is  a  falling  off  enough  to 
cause  very  great  suffering  in  a  little  community  of  five  thou- 
sand people.  But  this  was  only  the  beginning  of  their  troubles. 
The  summer  proved  one  of  unusual  heat. .  Extreme  heat,  chills 
and  fever,  and  "  a  reduced  and  insufficient  ration,"  all  com- 
bined, resulted  in  an  amount  of  sickness  heart-rending  to  read 


of.  "  It  is  no  exaggerated  estimate,"  says  the  agent,  "  to  place 
the  number  of  sick  people  on  the  reservation  at  two  thousand. 
Many  deaths  occurred  which  might  have  been  obviated  had 
there  been  a  proper  supply  of  anti-malarial  remedies  at  hand. 
*  *  *  Hundreds  applying  for  treatment  have  been  refused  med- 

The  Northern  Cheyennes  grew  more  and  more  restless  and 
unhappy.  "  In  council  and  elsewhere  they  profess  an  intense 
desire  to  be  sent  North,  where  they  say  they  will  settle  down 
as  the  others  have  done,"  says  the  report ;  adding,  with  an  ob- 
tuseness  which  is  inexplicable,  that  "no  difference  has  been 
made  in  the  treatment  of  the  Indians,"  but  that  the  "com- 
pliance" of  these  Northern  Cheyennes  has  been  "  of  an  entirely 
different  nature  from  that  of  the  other  Indians,"  and  that  it  may 
be  "  necessary  in  the  future  to  compel  what  so  far  we  have  been 
unable  to  effect  by  kindness  and  appeal  to  their  better  natures." 

If  it  is  "  an  appeal  to  men's  better  natures  "  to  remove  them 
by  force  from  a  healthful  Northern  climate,  which  they  love 
and  thrive  in,  to  a  malarial  Southern  one,  where  they  are  struck 
down  by  chills  and  fever  —  refuse  them  medicine  which  can 
combat  chills  and  fever,  and  finally  starve  them — then,  indeed, 
might  be  said  to  have  been  most  forcible  appeals  made  to  the 
"  better  natures  "  of  these  Northern  Cheyennes.  What  might 
have  been  predicted  followed. 

Early  in  the  autumn,  after  this  terrible  summer,  a  band  of 
some  three  hundred  of  these  Northern  Cheyennes  took  the 
desperate  step  of  running  off  and  attempting  to  make  their 
way  back  to  Dakota.  They  were  pursued,  f ought  desperately, 
but  were  finally  overpowered,  and  surrendered.  They  surren- 
dered, however,  only  on  the  condition  that  they  should  be 
taken  to  Dakota.  They  were  unanimous  in  declaring  that 
they  would  rather  die  than  go  back  to  the  Indian  Territory. 
This  was  nothing  more,  in  fact,  than  saying  that  they  would 
rather  die  by  bullets  than  of  chills  and  fever  and  starvation. 


These  Indians  were  taken  to  Fort  Eobinson,  Nebraska.  Here 
they  were  confined  as  prisoners  of  war,  and  held  subject  to  the 
orders  of  the  Department  of  the  Interior.  The  department 
was  informed  of  the  Indians'  determination  never  to  be  taken 
back  alive  to  Indian  Territory.  The  army  officers  in  charge 
reiterated  these  statements,  and  implored  the  department  to 
permit  them  to  remain  at  the  North ;  but  it  was  of  no  avail. 
Orders  came — explicit,  repeated,  finally  stern — insisting  on  the 
return  of  these  Indians  to  their  agency.  The  commanding 
officer  at  Fort  Robinson  has  been  censured  severely  for  the 
course  he  pursued  in  his  effort  to  carry  out  those  orders.  It 
is  difficult  to  see  what  else  he  could  have  done,  except  to  have 
resigned  his  post.  He  could  not  take  three  hundred  Indians 
by  sheer  brute  force  and  carry  them  hundreds  of  miles,  espe- 
cially when  they  were  so  desperate  that  they  had  broken  up 
the  iron  stoves  in  their  quarters,  and  wrought  and  twisted 
them  into  weapons  with  which  to  resist.  He  thought  perhaps 
he  could  starve  them  into  submission.  He  stopped  the  issue 
of  food;  he  also  stopped  the  issue  of  fuel  to  them.  It  was 
midwinter;  the  mercury  froze  in  that  month  at  Fort  Eobin- 
son. At  the  end  of  two  days  he  asked  the  Indians  to  let  their 
women  and  children  come  out  that  he  might  feed  them.  Not 
a  woman  would  come  out.  On  the  night  of  the  fourth  day — 
or,  according  to  some  accounts,  the  sixth — these  starving,  freez- 
ing Indians  broke  prison,  overpowered  the  guards,  and  fled, 
carrying  their  women  and  children  with  them.  They  held  the 
pursuing  troops  at  bay  for  several  days;  finally  made  a  last 
stand  in  a  deep  ravine,  and  were  shot  down — men,  women,  and 
children  together.  Out  of  the  whole  band  there  were  left  alive 
some  fifty  women  and  children  and  seven  men,  who,  having 
been  confined  in  another  part  of  the  fort,  had  not  had  the  good 
fortune  to  share  in  this  outbreak  and  meet  their  death  in  the 
ravine.  These,  with  their  wives  and  children,  were  sent  to  Fort 
Leavenworth,  to  be  put  in  prison ;  the  men  to  be  tried  for  mur- 


clcrs  committed  in  their  skirmishes  in  Kansas  on  their  way  to 
the  north.  Bed  Cloud,  a  Sioux  chief,  came  to  Fort  Robinson 
immediately  after  this  massacre,  and  entreated  to  be  allowed 
to  take  the  Cheyenne  widows  and  orphans  into  his  tribe  to  be 
cared  for.  The  Government,  therefore,  kindly  permitted  twen- 
ty-two Cheyenne  widows  and  thirty-two  Cheyenne  children — 
many  of  them  orphans — to  be  received  into  the  band  of  the 
Ogallalla  Sioux. 

An  attempt  was  made  by  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Af- 
fairs, in  his  Report  for  1879,  to  show  by  tables  and  figures  that 
these  Indians  were  not  starving  at  the  time  of  their  flight  from 
Indian  Territory.  The  attempt  only  redounded  to  his  own  dis- 
grace ;  it  being  proved,  by  the  testimony  given  by  a  former 
clerk  of  the  Indian  Bureau  before  the  Senate  committee  ap- 
pointed to  investigate  the  case  of  the  Northern  Cheyennes,  that 
the  commissioner  had  been  guilty  of  absolute  dishonesty  in  his 
estimates,  and  that  the  quantity  of  beef  actually  issued  to  the 
Cheyenne  Agency  was  hundreds  of  pounds  less  than  he  had 
reported  it,  and  that  the  Indians  were  actually,  as  they  had 
claimed,  "  starving." 

The  testimony  given  before  this  committee  by  some  of  the 
Cheyenne  prisoners  themselves  is  heart-rending.  One  must 
have  a  callous  heart  who  can  read  it  unmoved. 

When  asked  by  Senator  Morgan,  "  Did  you  ever  really  suffer 
from  hunger?"  one  of  the  chiefs  replied,  "We  were  always 
hungry;  we  never  had  enough.  When  they  that  were  sick 
once  in  awhile  felt  as  though  they  could  eat  sometliing,  we 
had  nothing  to  give  them." 

"  Did  you  not  go  out  on  the  plains  sometimes  and  hunt  buf- 
falo, with  the  consent  of  the  agent  t" 

"  We  went  out  on  a  buffalo-hunt,  and  nearly  starved  while 
out ;  we  could  not  find  any  buffalo  hardly ;  we  could  hardly 
get  back  with  our  ponies;  we  had  to  kill  a  good  many  of  our 
ponies  to  eat,  to  save  ourselves  from  starving." 


"How  many  children  got  sick  and  died?" 

"Between  the  fall  of  1877  and  1878  we  lost  fifty  children, 
A  great  many  of  our  finest  young  men  died,  as  well  as  many 

"  Old  Crow,"  a  chief  who  served  faithfully  as  Indian  scout 
and  ally  under  General  Crook  for  years,  said :  "  I  did  not  feel 
like  doing  anything  for  awhile,  because  I  had  no  heart.  I  did 
not  want  to  be  in  this  country.  I  was  all  the  time  wanting  to 
get  back  to  the  better  country  where  I  was  born,  and  where 
my  children  are  buried,  and  where  my  mother  and  sister  yet 
live.  So  I  have  laid  in  my  lodge  most  of  the  time  with  noth- 
ing to  think  about  but  that,  and  the  affair  up  north  at  Fort 
Robinson,  and  my  relatives  and  friends  who  were  killed  there. 
But  now  I  feel  as  though,  if  I  had  a  wagon  and  a  horse  or 
two,  and  some  land,  I  would  try  to  work.  If  I  had  something, 
so  that  I  could  do  something,  I  might  not  think  so  much  about 
these  other  things.  As  it  is  now,  I  feel  as  though  I  would  just 
as  soon  be  asleep  with  the  rest." 

The  wife  of  one  of  the  chiefs  confined  at  Fort  Leavenworth 
testified  before  the  committee  as  follows :  "  The  main  thing  I 
complained  of  was  that  we  didn't  get  enough  to  eat ;  my  chil- 
dren nearly  starved  to  death;  then  sickness  came,  and  there 
was  nothing  good  for  them  to  eat ;  for  a  long  time  the  most 
they  had  to  eat  was  corn-meal  and  salt.  Three  or  four  chil- 
dren dfed  every  day  for  awhile,  and  that  frightened  us." 

(This  testimony  was  taken  at  Fort  Reno,  in  Indian  Terri- 

"When  asked  if  there  were  anything  she  would  like  to  say  to 
the  committee,  the  poor  woman  replied:  "I  wish  you  would 
do  what  you  can  to  get  my  husband  released.  I  am  very  poor 
here,  and  do  not  know  what  is  to  become  of  me.  If  he  were 
released  he  would  come  down  here,  and  we  would  live  together 
quietly,  and  do  no  harm  to  anybody,  and  make  no  trouble. 
But  I  should  never  get  over  my  desire  to  get  back  north ;  I 


should  always  want  to  get  'back  where  my  children  were  born, 
and  died,  and  were  buried.  That  country  is  better  than  this 
in  every  respect.  *  *  *  There  is  plenty  of  good,  cool  water 
there — pure  water — while  here  the  water  is  not  good.  It  is 
not  hot  there,  nor  so  sickly.  Are  you  going  where  my  hus- 
band is !  Can  you  tell  when  he  is  likely  to  be  released  ?" 

The  Senators  were  obliged  to  reply  to  her  that  they  were  not 
going  where  her  husband  was,  and  they  could  not  tell  when  he 
would  be  released. 

In  view  of  the  accounts  of  the  sickness  and  suffering  of  these 
Indians  in  1877  and  1878,  the  reports  made  in  1879  of  the 
industry  and  progress  at  the  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe*  Agency 
are  almost  incredible.  The  school  children  have,  by  their  earn- 
ings, bought  one  hundred  head  of  cattle;  451,000  pounds  of 
freight  have  been  transported  by  the  Indians  during  the  year ; 
they  have  also  worked  at  making  brick,  chopping  wood,  mak- 
ing hay,  hauling  wood,  and  splitting  and  hauling  rails;  and 
have  earned  thereby  $7121  25.  Two  of  the  girls  of  the  school 
have  been  promoted  to  the  position  of  assistant  teachers ;  and 
the  United  States  mail  contractor  between  this  agency  and 
Fort  Elliott,  in  Texas — a  distance  of  one  hundred  and  sixty-five 
'miles — has  operated  almost  exclusively  with  full-blooded  In- 
dians :  "there  has  been  no  report  of  breach  of  trust  on  the  part 
of  any  Indians  connected  with  this  trust,  and  the  contractor 
expresses  his  entire  approval  of  their  conduct." 

It  is  stated  also  that  there  was  not  sufficient  clothing  to  fur- 
nish each  Indian  with  a  warm  suit  of  clothing, "  as  promised 
by  the  treaty,"  and  that,  "  by  reference  to  official  correspond- 
ence, the  fact  is  established  that  the  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes 
are  judged  as  having  no  legal  rights  to  any  lands,  having  for- 
feited their  treaty  reservation  by  a  failure  to  settle  thereon," 
and  their  "  present  reservation  not  having  been,  as  yet,  confirm- 
ed by  Congress.  Inasmuch  as  the  Indians  fully  understood, 
and  were  assured  that  this  reservation  was  given  to  them  in 


lieu  of  their  treaty  reservation,  and  have  commenced  farming 
in  the  belief  that  there  was  no  uncertainty  about  the  matter,  it 
is  but  common  justice  that  definite  action  be  had  at  an  early 
day,  securing  to  them  what  is  their  right." 

It  would  seem  that  there  could  be  found  nowhere  in  the 
melancholy  record  of  the  experiences  of  our  Indians  a  more 
glaring  instance  of  confused  multiplication  of  injustices  than 
this.  The  Cheyennes  were  pursued  and  slain  for  venturing  to 
leave  this  very  reservation,  which,  it  appears,  is  not  their  reser- 
vation at  all,  and  they  have  no  legal  right  to  it.  Are  there  any 
words  to  fitly  characterize  such  treatment  as  this  from  a  great, 
powerful,  rich  nation,  to  a  handful  of  helpless  people  ? 



THE     NEZ     PERCYS. 

BOUNDED  on  the  north,  south,  and  east  by  snow -topped 
mountains,  and  on  the  -west  by  shining  -waters ;  holding  in  its 
rocky  passes  the  sources  of  six  great  rivers;  bearing  on  its 
slopes  and  plains  measureless  forests  of  pine  and  cedar  and 
spruce ;  its  meadows  gardens  of  summer  bloom  and  fruit,  and 
treasure-houses  of  fertility, — lies  Oregon :  wide,  healthful,  beau- 
tiful, abundant,  and  inviting,  no  wonder  it  was  coveted  and 
fought  for. 

When  Lewis  and  Clarke  visited  it,  eighty  years  ago,  they 
found  living  there  many  tribes  of  Indians,  numbering  in  all,  at 
the  lowest  estimates,  between  twenty  and  thirty  thousand ;  of 
all  these  tribes  the  Nez  Percys  were  the  richest,  noblest,  and 
most  gentle. 

To  the  Cayuses,  one  of  the  most  warlike  of  these  tribes, 
Messrs.  Lewis  and  Clarke  presented  an  American  flag,  telling 
them  it  was  an  emblem  of  peace.  The  gay  coloring  and  beauty 
of  the  flag,  allied  to  this  significance,  made  a  deep  impression 
on  the  poetic  minds  of  these  savages.  They  set  the  flag  up  in 
a  beautiful  valley  called  the  Grande  Ronde —  a  fertile  basin 
some  twenty-five  miles  in  diameter,  surrounded  by  high  walls 
of  basaltic  rock,  and  watered  by  a  branch  of  the  Snake  River : 
around  this  flag  they  met  their  old  enemies  the  Shoshones,  and 
swore  to  keep  perpetual  peace  with  them ;  and  the  spot  became 
consecrated  to  an  annual  meeting  of  the  tribes — a  sort  of  fair, 
where  the  Cayuse,  Nez  Perc6,  and  Walla  Walla  Indians  came 
every  summer  and  traded  their  roots,  skins,  elk  and  buffalo 


meats,  for  salmon  and  horses,  with  the  Shoshones.  It  was  a 
beautiful  spot,  nearly  circular,  luxuriantly  covered  with  grass, 
the  hill  wall  around  it  thick  grown  with  evergreen  trees,  chiefly 
larch.  The  Indians  called  it  Karpkarp,  which  being  translated 
is  "Balm  of  Gilead." 

The  life  of  these  Indians  was  a  peculiar  one.  Most  of  them 
had  several  homes,  and  as  they  lived  only  a  part  of  the  year  in 
each,  were  frequently  spoken  of  by  travellers  as  nomadic  tribes, 
while  in  fact  they  were  as  wedded  to  their  homes  as  any  civil- 
ized inhabitants  of  the  world ;  and  their  wanderings  were  as 
systematic  as  the  removals  of  wealthy  city  people  from  town 
homes  co  country  places.  If  a  man  were  rich  enough,  and  fond 
enough  of  change,  to  have  a  winter  house  in  New  York,  a  house 
for  the  summer  in  Newport,  and  one  for  autumn  in  the  White 
Mountains,  nobody  would  think  of  calling  him  a  nomad ;  still 
less  if  he  made  these  successive  changes  annually,  with  perfect 
regularity,  owing  to  opportunities  which  were  offered  him  at 
regularly  recuning  intervals  in  these  different  places  to  earn 
his  living ;  which  was  the  case  with  the  Oregon  Indians. 

As  soon  as  the  snow  disappears  in  the  spring  there  is  in 
.certain  localities,  ready  for  gathering,  the  "pohpoh" — a  small 
bulb,  like  an  onion.  This  is  succeeded  by  the  "  spatlam,"  and 
the  "  spatlam  "  by  the  "  cammass "  or  "  ithwa,"  a  root  like  a 
parsnip,  which  they  make  into  fine  meal.  In  midsummer  come 
the  salmon  in  countless  shoals  up  the  rivers.  August  is  the 
month  for  berries,  of  which  they  dry  great  quantities  for  win- 
ter use.  In  September  salmon  again — coming  down  stream 
now,  exhausted  and  ready  to  die,  but  in  sufficiently  good  con- 
dition to  be  dried  for  the  winter.  In  October  comes  the  "  me- 
sani,"  another  root  of  importance  in  the  Indian  larder.  After 
this  they  must  depend  on  deer,  bears,  small  game,  and  wild- 
fowl. When  all  these  resources  fail,  there  is  a  kind  of  lichen 
growing  on  the  trees,  of  which  they  can  eat  enough  to  keep 
themselves  from  starving,  though  its  nutritive  qualities  are  very 

THE   NEZ  PERCYS.  105 

small.  Thus  each  season  had  its  duty  and  its  appointed  place 
of  abode,  and  year  after  year  the  same  month  found  them  in 
the  same  spot. 

In  1833  a  delegation  from  these  Oregon  Indians  went  to  St, 
Louis,  and  through  Mr.  Catlin,  the  artist,  made  known  their  ob- 
ject, which  was  "  to  inquire  for  the  truth  of  a  representation 
which  they  said  some  white  men  had  made  among  them,  that 
our  religion  was  better  than  theirs,  and  that  they  would  all  be 
lost  if  they  did  not  embrace  it."  Two  members  of  this  delega- 
tion were  Nez  Perces — "  Hee-oh'ks-te-kin  "  and  "  H'co-a-h'co- 
a-h'cotes-min,"  or  "Rabbit-skin  Leggings,"  and  "No Horns  on 
his  Head."  Their  portraits  are  to  be  found  in  "  Catlin's  Amer- 
ican Indians."  One  of  these  died  on  his  way  home ;  but  the 
other  journeyed  his  thousands  of  miles  safely  back,  and  bore 
to  his  tribe  the  news  "  that  the  report  which  they  had  heard 
was  well  founded,  and  that  good  and  religious  men  would  soon 
come  among  them  to  teach  this  religion,  so  that  they  could  all 
understand  and  have  the  benefits  of  it." 

Two  years  later  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Society  and  the 
American  Board  both  sent  missionaries  to  Oregon.  Before 
this  the  religion  of  the  fur-traders  was  the  only  white  man's 
religion  that  the  Indians  had  had  the  opportunity  of  observing. 
Eleven  different  companies  and  expeditions,  besides  the  Hud- 
son's JBay  and  the  North-west  Companies,  had  been  established 
in  their  country,  and  the  Indians  had  become  only  too  familiar 
with  their  standards  and  methods.  It  was  not  many  years  af- 
ter the  arrival  of  the  missionaries  in  Oregon  that  a  traveller 
there  gave  the  following  account  of  his  experience  with  a  Nez 
Pcrc6  guide :  - 

"  Creekie  (so  he  was  named)  was  a  very  kind  man ;  he  turn- 
ed my  worn-out  animals  loose,  and  loaded  my  packs  on  his 
own ;  gave  me  a  splendid  horse  to  ride,  and  intimated  by  sig- 
nificant gestures  that  we  would  go  a  short  distance  that  after- 
noon. I  gave  my  assent,  and  we  were  soon  on  our  way ;  hav- 



ing  ridden  about  ten  miles,  we  camped  for  the  night.  I  no- 
ticed, during  the  ride,  a  degree  of  forbearance  toward  each  oth- 
er which  I  had  never  before  observed  in  that  race.  When  we 
halted  for  the  night  the  two  boys  were  behind ;  they  had  been 
frolicking  with  their  horses,  and,  as  the  darkness  came  on,  lost 
the  trail.  It  was  a  half -hour  before  they  made  their  appear- 
ance, and  during  this  time  the  parents  manifested  the  most 
anxious  solicitude  for  them.  One  of  them  was  but  three  years 
old,  and  was  lashed  to  the  horse  he  rode ;  the  other  only  seven 
years  of  age — young  pilots  in  the  wilderness  at  night.  But 
the  elder,  true  to  the  sagacity  of  his  race,  had  taken  his  course, 
and  struck  the  brook  on  which  we  were  encamped  within  three 
hundred  yards  of  us.  The  pride  of  the  parents  at  this  feat, 
and  their  ardent  attachment  to  the.  children,  were  perceptible 
in  the  pleasure  with  which  they  received  them  at  their  even- 
ning  fire,  and  heard  the  relation  of  their  childish  adventures. 
The  weather  was  so  pleasant  that  no  tent  was  spread.  The 
willows  were  bent,  and  the  buffalo -robes  spread  over  them. 
Underneath  were  laid  other  robes,  on  which  my  Indian  host 
seated  himself,  with  his  wife  and  children  on  one  side  and 
myself  on  the  other.  A  fire  burnt  brightly  in  front.  Water 
was  brought,  and  the  evening  ablutions  having  been  performed, 
the  wife  presented  a  dish  of  meat  to  her  husband  and  one  to 
myself.  There  was  a  pause.  The  woman  seated  herself  be- 
tween her  children.  The  Indian  then  bowed  his  head  and 
prayed  to  God.  A  wandering  savage  in  Oregon,  calling  on 
Jehovah  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ!  After  the  prayer  he 
gave  meat  to  his  children  and  passed  the  dish  to  his  wife. 
While  eating,  the  frequent  repetition  of  the  words  Jehovah  and 
Jesus  Christ,  in  the  most  reverential  manner,  led  me  to  sup- 
pose that  they  were  conversing  on  religious  topics,  and  thus 
they  passed  an  hour.  Meanwhile  the  exceeding  weariness  of  a 
long  day's  travel  admonished  me  to  seek  rest.  I  had  slumber- 
ed I  know  not  how  long,  when  a  strain  of  music  awoke  me. 


The  Indian  family  was  engaged  in  its  evening  devotions.  They 
were  singing  a  hymn  in  the  Nez  Percys  language.  Having 
finished,  they  all  knelt  and  bowed  their  faces  on  the  buffalo- 
robe,  and  Creekie  prayed  long  and  fervently.  Afterward  they 
sung  another  hymn,  and  retired.  To  hospitality,  family  affec- 
tion, and  devotion,  Creekie  added  honesty  and  cleanliness  to  a 
great  degree,  manifesting  by  these  fruits,  so  contrary  to  the 
nature  and  habits  of  his  race,  the  beautiful  influence  of  the 
work  of  grace  on  the  heart." 

The  earliest  mention  of  the  Nez  Perces  in  the  official  records 
of  the  Indian  Bureau  is  in  the  year  1843.  In  that  year  an 
agent  was  sent  out  to  investigate  the  condition  of  the  Oregon 
tribes,  and  he  reports  as  follows :  "  The  only  tribes  from  which 
much  is  to  be  hoped,  or  anything  to  be  feared  in  this  part  of 
Oregon,  are  the  Walla  Wallas,  Cay  uses,  and  Nez  Percys,  inhab- 
iting a  district  on  the  Columbia  and  its  tributaries,  commenc- 
ing two  hundred  and  forty  miles  from  its  mouth,  and  stretch- 
ing four  hundred  and  eighty  miles  in  the  interior." 

The  Nez  Percys,  living  farther  inland,  "  inhabit  a  beautiful 
grazing  district,  not  surpassed  by  any  I  have  seen  for  verdure, 
water  privileges,  climate,  or  health.  This  tribe  forms  an- honor- 
able exception  to  the  general  Indian  character — being  more 
noble,  industrious,  sensible,  and  better  disposed  toward  the 
whites  and  their  improvements  in  the  arts  and  sciences ;  and 
though  brave  as  Csesar,  the  whites  have  nothing  to  dread  at 
their  hands  in  case  of  their  dealing  out  to  them  what  they  con- 
ceive to  be  right  and  equitable." 

When  this  agent  arrived  at.  the  missionary  station  among 
the  Nez  Perces,  he  was  met  there  by  a  large  body  of  the  In- 
dians with  twenty-two  of  their  chiefs.  The  missionaries  re- 
ceived him  "  with  joyful  countenances  and  glad  hearts ;"  the 
Indians,  "  with  civility,  gravity,  and  dignified  reserve." 

He  addressed  them  at  length,  explaining  to  them  the  kind 
intentions  of  the  Government  toward  them.  They  listened 


with  "gravity,  fixed  attention,  and  decorum."  Finally  an  aged 
chief,  ninety. years  of  age,  arose  and  said :  "I  speak  to-day ; 
perhaps  to-morrow  I  die.  I  am  the  oldest  chief  of  the  tribe. 
I  was  the  high  chief  when  your  great  brothers,  Lewis  and 
Clarke,  visited  this  country.  They  visited  me,  and  honored  me 
with  their  friendship  and  counsel.  I  showed  them  my  numer- 
ous wounds,  received  in  bloody  battle  with  the  Snakes.  They 
told  me  it  was  not  good ;  it  was  better  to  be  at  peace ;  gave 
me  a  flag  of  truce ;  I  held  it  up  high.  We  met,  and  talked, 
but  never  fought  again.  Clarke  pointed  to  this  day — to  you 
and  this  occasion.  We  have  long  waited  in  expectation ;  sent 
three  of  our  sons  to  Red  River  school  to  prepare  for  it ;  two 
of  them  sleep  with  their  fathers ;  the  other  is  here,  and  can  be 
ears,  mouth,  and  pen  for  us.  I  can  say  no  more ;  I  am  quick- 
ly tired;  my  voice  and  limbs  tremble.  I  am  glad  I  live  to  see 
you  and  this  day;  but  I  shall  soon  be  still  and  quiet  in 

At  this  council  the  Nez  Perces  elected  a  head  chief  named 
Ellis,  and  adopted  the  following  Code  of  Laws : 

Art.  1.  Whoever  wilfully  takes  life  shall  be  hung. 
Art.  2.  Whoever  burns  a  dwelling-house  shall  be  hung. 
Art.  8.  Whoever  burns  an  out-building  shall  be  imprisoned  six  months, 
receive  fifty  lashes,  and  pay  all  damages. 
Art.  4.  Whoever  carelessly  burns  a  house  or  any  property  shall  pay 

Art.  5.  If  any  one  enter  a  dwelling  without  permission  of  the  occupant, 
the  chiefs  shall  punish  him  as  they  think  proper.  Public  rooms  are  ex- 

Art.  6.  If  any  one  steal,  he  shall  pay  back  twofold ;  and  if  it  be  the 
value  of  a  beaver-skin  or  less,  he  shall  receive  twenty-five  lashes ;  and  if 
the  value  is  over  a  beaver-skin,  he  shall  pay  back  twofold,  and  receive 
fifty  lashes. 

Art.  7.  If  any  one  take  a  horse  and  ride  it,  without  permission,  or  take 
any  article  and  use  it,  without  liberty,  he  shall  pay  for  the  use  of  it,  and 
receive  from  twenty  to  fifty  lashes,  as  the  chief  shall  direct. 

THE   NEZ  PEUCfiS.  109 

Art.  8.  If  any  one  enter  a  field  and  injure  the  crops,  or  throw  down  the 
fence,  so  that  cattle  or  horses  go  in  and  do  damage,  he  shall  pay  all  dam- 
ages,  and  receive  twenty-five  lashes  for  every  offence. 

Art.  9.  Those  only  may  keep  dogs  who  travel  or  live  among  the  game. 
If  a  dog  kill  a  lamb,  calf,  or  any  domestic  animal,  the  owner  shall  pay  the 
damage,  and  kill  the  dog. 

Art.  10.  If  an  Indian  raise  a  gun  or  other  weapon  against  a  white  man, 
it  shall  be  reported  to  the  chiefs,  and  they  shall  punish  him.  If  a  white 
man  do  the  same  to  an  Indian,  it  shall  be  reported  to  Dr.  White,  and  he 
shall  punish  or  redress  it. 

Art.  11.  If  an  Indian  break  these  laws,  he  shall  be  punished  by  his 
chiefs ;  if  a  white  man  break  them,  he  shall  be  reported  to  the  agent,  and 
punished  at  his  instance. 


These  laws,  the  agent  says,  he  "proposed  one  by  one,  leaving 
them  as  free  to  reject  as  to  accept.  They  were  greatly  pleased 
with  all  proposed,  but  wished  a  heavier  penalty  to  some,  and 
suggested  the  dog-law,  which  was  annexed." 

In  a  history  of  Oregon  written  by  one  W.  H.  Gray,  of  As- 
toria, we  find  this  Indian  agent  spoken  of  as  a  "  notorious 
blockhead."  Mr.  Gray's  methods  of  mention  of  all  persons 
toward  whom  he  has  antagonism  or  dislike  are  violent  and  un- 
dignified, and  do  not  redound  either  to  his  credit  as  a  writer 
or  his  credibility  as  a  witness.  But  it  is  impossible  to  avoid 
the  impression  that  in  this  instance  he  was  not  far  from  the 
truth.  Surely  one  cannot  read,  without  mingled  horror  and 
incredulity,  this  programme  of  the  whipping -post,  offered  as 
one  of  the  first  instalments  of  the  United  States  Government's 
"  kind  intentions  "  toward  these  Indians ;  one  of  the  first  prac- 
tical illustrations  given  them  of  the  kind  of  civilization  the 
United  States  Government  would  recommend  and  introduce. 

We  are  not  surprised  to  read  in  another  narrative  of  affairs 
in  Oregon,  a  little  later,  that  "  the  Indians  want  pay  for  being 
whipped,  the  same  as  they  did  for  praying — to  please  the  mis- 
sionaries— during  the  great  revival  of  1839.  *  *  *  Some  of  the 
influential  men  in  the  tribe  desired  to  know  of  what  benefit 


this  whipping-system  was  going  to  be  to  them.  They  said 
they  were  willing  it  should  continue,  provided  they  were  to 
receive  shirts  and  pants  and  blankets  as  a  reward  for  being 
whipped.  They  had  been  whipped  a  good  many  times,  and 
had  got  nothing  for  it,  and  it  had  done  them  no  good.  If  this 
state  of  things  was  to  continue,  it  was  all  good  for  nothing, 
and  they  would  throw  it  away." 

The  Secretary  of  War  does  not  appear  to  have  seen  this 
aspect  of  his  agent's  original  efforts  in  the  line  of  jurispru- 
dence. He  says  of  the  report  which  includes  this  astounding 
code,  merely  that  "it  furnishes  some  deeply  interesting  and 
curious  details  respecting  certain  of  the  Indian  tribes  in  that 
remote  part  of  our  territories,"  and  that  the  conduct  of  the 
Nez  Perces  on  the  occasion  of  this  important  meeting  "im- 
presses one  most  agreeably." 

A  report  submitted  at  the  same  time  by  the  Rev.  Mr.  Spaul- 
ding,  who  had  lived  six  years  as  missionary  among  the  Nez 
Perces,  is  much  pleasanter  reading.  He  says  that  "nearly  all 
the  principal  men  and  chiefs  are  members  of  the  school ;  that 
they  are  as  industrious  in  their  schools  as  on  their  farms. 
They  cultivate  their  lands  with  much  skill  and  to  good  advan- 
tage, and  many  more  would  do  so  if  they  had  the  means. 
About  one  hundred  are  printing  their  own  books  with  the 
pen.  This  keeps  up  a  deep  interest,  as  they  daily  have  new 
lessons  to  print ;  and  what  they  print  must  be  committed  to 
memory  as  soon  as  possible.  A  good  number  are  now  so  far 
advanced  in  reading  and  printing  as  to  render  much  assistance 
in  teaching.  Their  books  are  taken  home  at  night,  and  every 
lodge  becomes  a  school-room.  Their  lessons  are  Scripture  les- 
sons ;  no  others  (except  the  laws)  seem  to  interest  them." 

Even  this  missionary  seems  to  have  fallen  under  some  strange 
glamour  on  the  subject  of  the  whipping-code;  for  ho  adds: 
"The  laws  which  you  so  happily  prepared,  and  which  were 
unanimously  adopted  by  the  people,  I  havo  printed  in  the  form 

THE  NEZ  PERCfiS.  Ill 

of  a  small  school-book.  A  great  number  of  the  school  now 
read  them  fluently." 

In  the  next  year's  report  of  the  Secretary  of  War  we  read 
that  "the  Nez  Perc6  tribe  have  adopted  a  few  simple  and 
plain  laws  as  their  code,  which  will  teach  them  self-restraint, 
and  is  the  beginning  of  government  on  their  part."  The  Sec- 
retary also  thinks  it  "  very  remarkable  that  there  should  so 
soon  be  several  well  supported,  well  attended,  and  well  con- 
ducted schools  in  Oregon."  (Not  at  all  remarkable,  considering 
that  the  Congregationalists,  the  Methodist  Episcopalians,  and 
the  Roman  Catholics  have  all  had  missionaries  at  work  there 
for  eight  years.) 

In  1846,  the  Nez  Percys,  with  the  rest  of  the  Oregon  tribes, 
disappear  from  the  official  records  of  the  Indian  Bureau.  "  It 
will  be  necessary  to  make  some  provision  for  conducting  our 
relations  with  the  Indian  tribes  west  of  the  Eocky  Mountains," 
it  is  said ;  but,  "the  whole  subject  having  been  laid  before  Con- 
gress, it  was  not  deemed  advisable  to  continue  a  service  that 
was  circumscribed  in  its  objects,  and  originally  designed  to  be 
temporary."  The  founder  of  the  whipping-post  in  Oregon  was 
therefore  relieved  from  his  duties,  and  it  is  to  be  hoped  his 
laws  speedily  fell  into  disuse.  The  next  year  all  the  Protestant 
missions  in  Oregon  were  abandoned,  in  consequence  of  the 
frightful  massacre  by  the  Cayuses  of  the  missionary  families 
living  among  them.*  But  the  Nez  Perces,  though  deprived  of 
their  teaching,  did  not  give  up  the  faith  and  the  practice  they 
had  taught  them.  Six  years  later  General  Benjamin  Alvord 
bore  the  following  testimony  to  their  religious  character : 

"In  the  spring  of  1853  a  white  man,who  had  passed  the  pre- 
vious winter  in  the  country  of  the  Nez  Perc6s,  came  to  the 
military  post  at  the  Dalles,  and  on  being  questioned  as  to  the 
manners  and  customs  of  the  tribe,  he  said  that  he  wintered 

*  See  Appendix,  Art.  XTTT. 


with  a  band  of  several  hundred  in  number,  and  that  the  whole 
party  assembled  every  evening  and  morning  for  prayer,  the 
exercises  being  conducted  by  one  of  themselves  in  their  own 
language.  He  stated  that  on  Sunday  they  assembled  for  ex- 
hortation and  worship." 

In  1851  a  superintendent  and  three  agents  were  appointed 
for  Indian  service  in  Oregon.  Treaties  were  negotiated  with 
some  of  the  tribes,  but  they  were  not  ratified,  and  in  1853 
there  was,  in  consequence,  a  wide-spread  dissatisfaction  among 
all  the  Indians  in  the  region.  "They  have  become  distrust- 
ful of  all  promises  made  them  by  the  United  States,"  says  the 
Oregon  superintendent,  "  and  believe  the  design  of  the  Govern- 
ment is  to  defer  doing  anything  for  them  till  they  have  wasted 
away.  The  settlement  of  the  whites  on  the  tracts  which  they 
regarded  as  secured  to  them  by  solemn  treaty  stipulations,  re- 
sults in  frequent  misunderstandings  between  them  and  the 
settlers,  and  occasions  and  augments  bitter  animosities  and  re- 
sentments. I  am  in  almost  daily  receipt  of  complaints  and  pe- 
titions for  a  redress  of  wrongs  from  both  parties." 

Governor  Stevens,  of  Washington  Territory,  in  charge  of  the 
Northern  Pacific  Railroad  Explorations  and  Survey,  wrote,  this 
year,  "  These  hitherto  neglected  tribes,  whose  progress  from 
the  wild  wanderers  of  the  plains  to  !kmd  and  hospitable  neigh- 
bors is  personally  known  to  you,  are  entitled,  by  every  consid- 
eration of  justice  and  humanity,  to  the  fatherly  care  of  the 

In  Governor  Stevens's  report  is  to  be  found  a  comprehensive 
and  intelligible  account  of  all  the  Indian  tribes  in  Oregon  and 
Washington  Territory.  The  greater  part  of  the  Nez  Percys' 
country  was  now  within  the  limits  of  Washington  Territory, 
only  a  few  bands  remaining  in  Oregon.  They  were  estimated 
to  number  at  least  eighteen  hundred,  and  were  said  to  be  a 
"  rich  and  powerful  tribe,  owning  many  horses."  Every  year 
they  crossed  the  mountains  to  hunt  buffalo  on  the  plains  of 
the  Missouri. 


In  1855  there  was  a  general  outbreak  of  hostilities  on  the 
part  of  the  Oregon  Indians.  Tribe  after  tribe,  even  among 
those  who  had  been  considered  friendly,  fell  into  the  ranks  of 
the  hostiles,  and  some  base  acts  of  treachery  were  committed. 
The  Oregon  settlers,  menaced  with  danger  on  all  sides,  became 
naturally  so  excited  and  terrified  that  their  actions  were  hasty 
and  ill-advised.  "  They  are  without  discipline,  without  order, 
and  similar  to  madmen,"  says  one  official  report.  "  Every  day 
they  run  off  the  horses  and  the  cattle  of  the  friendly  Indians. 
I  will  soon  no  longer  be  able  to  restrain  the  friendly  Indians. 
They  are  indignant  at  conduct  so  unworthy  of  the  whites,  who 
have  made  so  many  promises  to  respect  and  protect  them  if 
they  remain  faithful  friends.  I  am  very  sure,  if  the  volunteers 
are  not  arrested  in  their  brigand  actions,  our  Indians  will  save 
themselves  by  flying  to  the  homes  of  their  relations,  the  Nez 
Percys,  who  have  promised  them  help ;  and  then  all  these  In- 
dians of  Oregon  would  join  in  the  common  defence  until  they 
be  entirely  exterminated." 

It  is  difficult  to  do  full  justice  to  the  moral  courage  which 
is  shown  by  Indians  who  remain  friendly  to  whites  under  such 
circumstances  as  these.  The  traditions  of  their  race,  the  pow- 
erful influence  of  public  sentiment  among  their  relatives  and 
friends,  and,  in  addition,  terror  for  their  own  lives — all  com- 
bine in  times  of  such  outbreaks  to  draw  even  the  friendliest 
tribes  into  sympathy  and  co-operation  with  those  who  are 
making  war  on  whites. 

At  this  time  the  hostile  Indians  in  Oregon  sent  word  to  the  Nez 
Percys,  "Join  us  in  the  war  against  the  whites,  or  we  will  wipe 
you  out."  They  said,  "We  have  made  the  whites  run  out  of  the 
country,  and  we  will  now  make  the  friendly  Indians  do  the  same." 

"  What  can  the  friendly  Indians  do?"  wrote  the  colonel  of  a 
company  of  Washington  Territory  Volunteers ;  "  they  have  no 
ammunition,  and  the  whites  will  give  them  none ;  and  the  hos- 
tiles say  to  them,  *  We  have  plenty ;  come  and  join  us,  and  save 



your  lives.'  The  Nez  Perces  are  very  much  alarmed;  they 
say, '  We  have  no  ammunition  to  defend  ourselves  with  if  wo 
are  attacked.7 " 

The  Oregon  superintendent  writes  to  General  Wool  (in 
command  at  this  time  of  the  Department  of  the  Pacific),  im- 
ploring him  to  send  troops  to  Oregon  to  protect  both  friendly 
Indians  and  white  settlers,  and  to  enable  this  department  to 
maintain  guarantees  secured  to  these  Indians  by  treaty  stipula- 
tions. He  says  that  the  friendly  Indians  are  "  willing  to  sub- 
mit to  almost  any  sacrifice  to  obtain  peace,  but  there  may  be 
a  point  beyond  which  they  could  not  be  induced  to  go  without 
a  struggle." 

This  outbreak  terminated  after  some  sharp  fighting,  and 
about  equal  losses  on  both  sides,  in  what  the  Oregon  super* 
intendent  calls  "  a  sort  of  armistice,"  which  left  the  Indians 
"  much  emboldened,"  with  the  impression  on  their  minds  that 
they  have  the  "  ability  to  contend  successfully  against  the  en- 
tire white  race." 

Moreover,  "  the  non- ratification  of  the  treaties  heretofore 
made  to  extinguish  their  title  to  the  lands  necessary  for  the 
occupancy  and  use  of  our  citizens,  seems  to  have  produced  no 
little  disappointment ;  and  the  continued  extension  of  our  set- 
tlements into  their  territory,  without  any  compensation  being 
made  to  them,  is  a  constant  source  of  dissatisfaction  and  hostile 

"  It  cannot  be  expected  that  Indians  situated  like  those  in 
Oregon  and  Washington  Territory,  occupying  extensive  sections 
of  country  where,  from  the  game  and  otherwise,  they  derive  a 
comfortable  support,  will  quietly  and  peaceably  submit,  without 
any  equivalent,  to  be  deprived  of  their  homes  and  possessions, 
and  to  be  driven  off  to  some  other  locality  where  they  cannot 
find  their  usual  means  of  subsistence.  Such  a  proceeding  is  not 
only  contrary  to  our  policy  hitherto,  but  is  repugnant  alike  to 
the  dictates  of  humanity  and  the  principles  of  natural  justice. 

THE  NEZ  PEBCfe.  115 

"  The  principle  of  recognizing  and  respecting  the  usufruct 
right  of  the  Indians  to  the  lands  occupied  by  them  has  not 
been  so  strictly  adhered  to  in  the  case  of  the  tribes  in  the  Ter- 
ritories of  Oregon  and  Washington.  When  a  territorial  gov- 
ernment was  first  provided  for  Oregon — which  then  embraced 
the  present  Territory  of  Washington — strong  inducements  were 
held  out  to  our  people  to  emigrate  and  settle  there,  without  the 
usual  arrangements  being  made  in  advance  for  the  extinguish- 
ment of  the  title  of  the  Indians  who  occupied  and  claimed  the 
lands.  Intruded  upon,  ousted  of  their  homes  and  possessions 
without  any  compensation,  and  deprived  in  most  cases  of  their 
accustomed  means  of  support,  without  any  arrangement  having 
been  made  to  enable  them  to  establish  and  maintain  themselves 
in  other  locations,  it  is  not  a  matter  of  surprise  that  they  have 
committed  many  depredations  upon  our  citizens,  and  been  ex- 
asperated to  frequent  acts  of  hostility." 

As  was  to  be  expected,  the  armistice  proved  of  no  avail ;  and 
in  1858  the  unfortunate  Territories  had  another  Indian  war  on 
their  hands.  In  this  war  we  find  the  Nez  Perces  fighting  on 
the  side  of  the  United  States  against  the  hostile  Indians.  One 
of  the  detachments  of  United  States  troops  was  saved  from  de- 
struction only  by  taking  refuge  with  them.  Nearly  destitute 
of  ammunition,  and  surrounded  by  hundreds  of  hostile  Indians, 
the  little  company  escaped  by  night ;  and  "  after  a  ride  of  nine- 
ty miles  mostly  at  a  gallop,  and  without  a  rest,  reached  Snake 
River,"  where  they  were  met  by  this  friendly  tribe,  who  "  re- 
ceived them  with  open  arms,  succored  the  wounded  men,  and 
crossed  in  safety  the  whole  command  over  the  difficult  and 
dangerous  river." 

The  officer  in  command  of  the  Nez  Perc6  band  writes  as 
follows,  in  his  report  to  the  Indian  Commissioner : 

"  Allow  me,  my  dear  sir,  while  this  general  war  is  going  on, 
to  point  you  to  at  least  a  few  green  spots  where  the  ravages  of 
war  do  not  as  yet  extend,  and  which  thus  far  are  untainted 


and  unaffected,  with  a  view  of  so  retaining  them  that  we  may 
hereafter  point  to  them  as  oases  in  this  desert  of  war.  These 
green  spots  are  the  Nez  Perces,  the  Flat -heads,  and  Pend 
d'Oreilles.  In  this  connection  I  refer  with  grateful  pride  to 
an  act  of  Colonel  Wright,  which  embodies  views  and  motives 
which,  endorsed  and  carried  out  hy  the  Government,  must  re- 
dound to  his  credit  and  praise,  and  be  the  means  of  building 
up,  at  no  distant  day,  a  bold,  brave,  warlike,  and  numerous 

"  Before  leaving  Walla-Walla,  Colonel  Wright  assembled  the 
Nez  Perc6  people,  told  them  his  object  was  to  war  with  and 
punish  our  enemies ;  but  as  this  great  people  were  and  ever 
had  been  our  friends,  he  wanted  their  friendship  to  be  as  en- 
during as  the  mountains  around  which  they  lived ;  and  in  order 
that  no  difference  of  views  or  difficulty  might  arise,  that  their 
mutual  promises  should  be  recorded," 

With  this  view  he  there  made  a  treaty  of  friendship  with 
them,  and  thirty  of  the  bravest  warriors  and  chiefs  at  once  mar- 
shalled themselves  to  accompany  him  against  the  enemy. 

When  Colonel  Wright  asked  these  Indians  what  they  want- 
ed, "  their  reply  was  worthy  of  a  noble  race — '  Peace,  ploughs, 
and  schools.' "  At  this  time  they  had  no  agent  appointed  to 
attend  to  their  welfare ;  they  were  raising  wheat,  corn,  and 
vegetables  with  the  rude  means  at  their  command,  and  still 
preserved  the  faith  and  many  of  the  practices  taught  them  by 
the  missionaries  thirteen  years  before. 

In  1859  peace  was  again  established  in  Oregon,  and  the  In- 
dians "considered  as  conquered."  The  treaties  of  1855  were 
ratified  by  the  Senate,  and  this  fact  went  far  to  restore  tran- 
quillity in  the  territories.  Congress  was  implored  by  the  super- 
intendents to  realize  "the  importance  of  making  the  appropria- 
tions for  fulfilling  those  treaty  stipulations  at  the  earliest  prac- 
ticable moment ;"  that  it  may  "  prevent  the  recurrence  of  an- 
other savage  war,  necessarily  bloody  and  devastating  to  our 


settlements,  extended  under  the  authority  and  sanction  of  our 
Government."  With  marvellous  self-restraint,  the  superintend- 
ents do  not  enforce  their  appeals  by  a  reference  to  the  fact  that, 
if  the  treaties  had  been  fulfilled  in  the  outset,  all  the  hostilities 
of  the  last  four  years  might  probably  have  been  avoided. 

The  reservation  secured  to  the  Nez  Percys  was  a  fine  tract 
of  country,  one  hundred  miles  long  and  sixty  in  width — well 
watered,  timbered,  and  of  great  natural  resources.  Already  the 
Indians  had  begun  to  practice  irrigation  in  their  fields;  had 
large  herds  of  horses,  and  were  beginning  to  give  attention  to 
improving  the  breed.  Some  of  them  could  read  and  write 
their  own  language,  and  many  of  them  professed  Christianity, 
and  were  exemplary  in  their  conduct — a  most  remarkable  fact, 
proving  the  depth  of  the  impression  the  missionary  teachings 
must  have  made.  The  majority  of  them  wore  the  American 
costume,  and  showed  "  their  progress  in  civilization  by  attach- 
ing little  value  to  the  gewgaws  and  trinkets  which  so  generally 
captivate  the  savage." 

In  less  than  two  years  the  peace  of  this  noble  tribe  was 
again  invaded ;  this  time  by  a  deadly  foe — the  greed  of  gold. 
In  1861  there  were  said  to  be  no  less  than  ten  thousand  miners 
in  the  Nez  Perc6  country  prospecting  for  gold.  Now  arose 
the  question,  What  will  the  Government  do  3  Will  it  protect 
the  rights  of  the  Indians  or  not  ? 

"  To  attempt  to  restrain  miners  would  be  like  attempting  to 
restrain  the  whirlwind,"  writes  the  superintendent  of  Washing- 
ton Territory ;  and  he  confesses  that, "  seeing  the  utter  impossi- 
bility of  preventing  miners  from  going  to  the  mines,"  he  has 
refrained  from  taking  any  steps  which,  by  a  certain  want  of 
success,  would  tend  to  weaken  the  force  of  the  law. 

For  the  next  few  years  the  Nez  Percys  saw  with  dismay  the 
steady  stream  of  settlers  pouring  into  their  country.  That 
they  did  not  resist  it  by  force  is  marvellous,  and  can  only  be 
explained  by  the  power  of  a  truly  Christian  spirit. 

118  A  CfiKTURY  Otf  DISHONOR. 

"  Their  reservation  was  overrun  by  the  enterprising  miners ; 
treaty  stipulations  were  disregarded  and  trampled  under  foot; 
towns  were  established  thereon,  and  all  the  means  that  cupid- 
ity could  invent  or  disloyalty  achieve  were  resorted  to  to  shake 
their  confidence  in  the  Government.  They  were  disturbed  in 
the  peaceable  possession  of  what  they  regarded  as  their  vested 
rights,  sacredly  secured  by  treaty.  They  were  informed  that 
the  Government  was  destroyed,  and  that  whatever  treaties  were 
made  would  never  be  carried  out.  All  resistance  on  their  part 
proved  unavailing,  and  inquietude  and  discontent  predominated 
among  them,"  says  the  Governor  of  Idaho,  in  1865.  Shortly 
after,  by  the  organization  of  that  new  Territory,  the  Nez 
Perces'  reservation  had  been  removed  from  the  jurisdiction  of 
Washington  Territory  to  that  of  Idaho. 

A  powerful  party  was  organized  in  the  tribe,  advocating  the 
forming  of  a  league  with  the  Crows  and  Blackfeet  against  the 
whites.  The  non-arrival  of  promised  supplies;  the  non-pay- 
ment of  promised  moneys;  the  unchecked  influx  of  miners 
throughout  the  reservation,  put  strong  weapons  into  the  hands 
of  these  disaffected  ones.  But  the  chiefs  "  remained  firm  and 
unwavering  in  their  devotion  to  the  Government  and  the  laws. 
They  are  intelligent — their  head  chief,  Sawyer,  particularly  so 
— and  tell  their  people  to  still  wait  patiently."  And  yet,  at 
this  very  time,  there  was  due  from  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment to  this  chief  Sawyer  six  hundred  and  twenty -five 
dollars  I  He  had  for  six  months  been  suffering  for  the  com- 
monest necessaries  of  life,  and  had  been  driven  to  disposing  of 
his  vouchers  at  fifty  cents  on  the  dollar  to  purchase  necessa- 
ries. The  warriors  also,  who  fought  for  us  so  well  in  1856, 
were  still  unpaid ;  although  in  the  seventh  article  of  the  treaty 
of  1863  it  had  been  agreed  that "  the  claims  of  certain  members 
of  the  Nez  Perc6  tribe  against  the  Government,  for  services 
rendered  and  horses  furnished  by  them  to  the  Oregon  Mount- 
ed Volunteers,  as  appears  by  certificates  issued  by  W.  H.  Faunt- 

THE   NEZ  PERCYS.  119 

leroy,  Acting  Regimental  Quartermaster,  and  commanding.  Or- 
egon Volunteers,  on  the  6th  of  March,  1856,  at  Carnp  Corne- 
lius, and  amounting  to  $4665,  shall  be  paid  to  them  in  full  in 
gold  coin." 

How  many  communities  of  \vhite  men  would  remain  peace- 
able, loyal,  and  friendly  under  such  a  strain  as  this? 

In  1866  the  Indian  Bureau  report  of  the  state  of  our  diplo- 
matic relations  with  the  Nez  Percys  is  that  the  treaty  con- 
cluded with  them  in  1863  was  ratified  by  the  Senate,  "  with  an 
amendment  which  awaited  the  action  of  the  Indians.  The 
ratification  of  this  treaty  has  been  delayed  for  several  years  for 
various  reasons,  partly  arising  from  successive  changes  in  the 
Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs  in  Idaho,  whose  varying  opin- 
ions on  the  subject  of  the  treaty  have  caused  doubts  in  the 
minds  of  senators.  A  later  treaty  had  been  made,  but,  on  • 
careful  consideration  of  the  subject,  it  was  deemed  advisable  to 
carry  into  effect  that  of  1863.  The  Nez  Percys  claimed  title 
to  a  very  large  district  of  country  comprised  in  what  are  now 
organized  as  Oregon,  "Washington,  and  Idaho,  but  principally 
within  the  latter  Territory ;  and  already  a  large  white  popula- 
tion is  pressing  upon  them  in  the  search  for  gold.  They  are 
peaceable,  industrious,  and  friendly,  and  altogether  one  of  the 
most  promising  of  the  tribes  west  of  the  Rocky  Mountains, 
having  profited  largely  by  the  labors  of  missionaries  among 

By  the ,  treaty  ratified  in  this  year  they  give  up  ".  all  their 
lands  except  a  reservation  defined  by  certain  natural  bounda- 
ries, and  agree  to  remove  to  this  reservation  within  one  year. 
Where  they  have  improvements  on  lands  outside  of  it,  such 
improvements  are  to  be  appraised  and  paid  for.  The  tillable, 
lands  are  to  be  surveyed  into  tracts  of  twenty  acres  each,  and 
allotted  -to  such  Indians  as  desire  to  hold  lands  in  severalty. 
The  Government  is  to  continue  the  anntftties  due  under  former 
treaties,  and,  in  addition,  pay  the  tribe,  or  expend  for  them  for 


certain  specific  purposes  having  their  improvement  in  view, 
the  sum  of  $262,500,  and  a  moderate  sum  is  devoted  to 
homes  and  salaries  for  chiefs.  The  right  of  way  is  secured 
through  the  reservation,  and  the  Government  undertakes  to 
reserve  all  important  springs  and  watering-places  for  public 

In  this  same  year  the  Governor  of  Idaho  writes,  in  his  an- 
nual report  to  the  Department  of  the  Interior:  "Prominent 
among  the  tribes  of  Northern  Idaho  stand  the  Nez  Perces,  a 
majority  of  whom  boast  that  they  have  ever  been  the  faith- 
ful friends  of  the  white  man.  But  a  few  over  half  of  the  en- 
tire tribe  of  the  Nez  Percys  are  under  treaty.  The  fidelity  of 
those  under  treaty,  even  under  the  most  discouraging  circum- 
stances, must  commend  itself  to  the  favorable  consideration  of 
the  Department.  The  non-payment  of  their  annuities  has  had 
its  natural  effect  on  the  minds  of  some  of  those  under  treaty ; 
but  their  confiding  head  chief,  Sawyer,  remains  unmoved,  and 
on  all  occasions  is  found  the  faithful  apologist  for  any  failure 
of  the  Government  Could  this  tribe  have  been  kept  aloof 
from  the  contaminating  vices  of  white  men,  and  had  it  been  in 
the  power  of  the  Government  promptly  to  comply  with  the 
stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  1855,  there  can  be  no  doubt  but 
that  their  condition  at  this  time  would  have  been  a  most  pros- 
perous one,  and  that  the  whole  of  the  Nez  Perc6  nation  would 
by  this  time  have  been  willing  to  come  under  treaty,  and  settle 
on  the  reservation  with  those  already  there." 

In  1867  the  patience  of  the  Nez  Perces  is  beginning  to  show 
signs  of  wearing  out.  the  Governor  of  Idaho  writes :  "  This 
disaffection  is  great,  and  serious  trouble  is  imminent.  It  could 
all  be  settled  by  prompt  payment  by  the  Government  of  their 
just  dues ;  but  if  delayed  too  long  I  greatly  fear  open  hostilities. 
They  have  been  patient,  but  promises  and  explanations  are  los- 
ing force  with  them  now.  *  *  *  Their  grievances  are  urged  with 
such  earnestness  that  even  Sawyer,  who  has  always  been  our 

THE   NEZ  PEKCES.  121 

apologist,  has  in  a  measure  abandoned  his  pacific  policy,  and 
asks  boldly  that  we  do  them  justice.  *  *  *  Even  now  it  may  not 
be  too  late ;  but,  if  neglected,  war  may  be  reasonably  expected. 
Should  the  Nez  Perces  strike  a  blow,  all  over  our  Territory 
and  around  our  boundaries  will  blaze  the  signal-fires  and  gleam 
the  tomahawks  of  the  savages — Kootenays,  Pen  d'Oreilles,  Coeur 
d'Alenes,  Blackfeet,  Flat-heads,  Spokanes,  Pelouses,  Bannocks, 
and  Shoshones  will  be  involved." 

This  disaffection,  says  the  agent,  "  began  to  show  itself  soon 
after  the  visit  of  George  C.  Haigh,  Esq.,  special  agent,  last  De- 
cember, to  obtain  their  assent  to  the  amendments  to  the  treaty 
of  June  9th,  1863 — the  non-ratification  of  that  treaty  had  gone 
on  so  long,  and  promises  made  them  by  Governor  Lyon  that  it 
would  not  be  ratified,  and  that  he  was  authorized  to  make  a 
.new  treaty  with  them  by  which  they  would  retain  all  of  their 
country,  as  given  them  under  the  treaty  of  1851,  except  the 
site  of  the  town  of  Lewiston.  They  had  also  been  informed 
in  March,  1866,  that  Governor  Lyon  would  be  here  in  the  June 
following,  to  pay  them  back-annuities  due  under  the  treaty  of 
1855.  The  failure  to  carry  out  these  promises,  and  the  idea 
they  have  that  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  1863  will  be 
carried  out  in  the  same  manner,  is  one  of  the  causes  of  their 
bad  feeling.  It  showed  itself  plainly  at  the  council  lately  held, 
and  is  on  the  increase.  If  there  is  the  same  delay  in  carrying 
out  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  1863  that  there  has  been 
in  that  of  1855,  some  of  the  chiefs  with  their  bands  will  join 
the  hostile  Indians.  There  are  many  is  impossible  to 
explain  to  them.  They  cannot  understand  why  the  $1185  that 
was  promised  by  Governor  Lyon  to  the  Indian  laborers  on  the 
church  is  not  paid.  He  told  them  when  the  walls  were  up 
they  should  receive  their  pay.  These  laborers  were  poor  men, 
and  such  inducements  were  held  out  to  them  that  they  com* 
menced  the  work  in  good  faith,  with  the  full  expectation  of  re- 
ceiving their  pay  when  their  labors  ceased." 


The  head  chief  Sawyer's  pay  is  still  in  arrears.  For  the  last 
quarter  of  1863,  and  the  first  and  second  of  1864,  he  has  re- 
ceived no  pay.  No  wonder  he  Las  ceased  to  be  the  "  apolo- 
gist" of  the  Government,  which  four  years  ago  promised  him 
an  annuity  of  $500  a  year. 

Spite  of  this  increasing  disaffection  the  Nez  Perces  are  in- 
dustrious and  prosperous.  They  raised  in  this  year  15,000 
bushels  of  wheat.  "  Many  of  them  carried  their  wheat  to  be 
ground  to  the  mills,  -while  many  sold  the  grain  to  packers  for 
feed,  while  much  of  it  is  boiled  whole  for  food.  Some  few  of 
the  better  class  have  had  their  wheat  ground,  and  sold  the  flour 
in  the  mining-camps  at  lower  prices  than  packers  could  lay  it 
down  in  the  camps.  Some  have  small  pack-trains  running 
through  the  summer;  one  in  particular,  Cru-cru-lu-ye,  runs 
some  fifteen  animals;  he  sometimes  packs  for  whites,  and 
again  runs  on  his  own  account.  A  Clearwater  Station  mer- 
chant a  short  time  ago  informed  me  of  his  buying  some  oats 
of  Cru-cru-lu-ye  last  fall.  After  the  grain  had  been  weighed, 
and  emptied  out  of  the  sacks,  the  Indian  brought  the  empty 
sa-cks  to  the  scales  to  have  them  weighed,  and  the  tare  deducted, 
saying  he  only  wanted  pay  for  the  oats.  Their  sales  of  melons, 
tomatoes,  corn,  potatoes,  squashes,  green  pease,  etc.,  during  the 
summer,  in  the  different  towns  and  mining-camps,  bring  in  some 
$2000  to  $3000.  Their  stock  of  horses  and  cattle  is  increasing 
fast,  and  with  the  benefits  to  be  derived  from  good  American 
stallions,  and  good  bulls  and  cows,  to  be  distributed  to  them 
under  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  1863,  they  will  rapidly 
increase  in  wealth." 

In  1869  their  reservation  is  still  unsurveyed,  and  when  the 
Indians  claim  that  white  settlers  are  establishing  themselves  in- 
side the  lines  there  is  no  way  of  proving  it,  and  the  agent  says 
all  he  can  do  is  to  promise  that  "  the  white  man's  heart  shall 
be  better ;"  and  thus  the  matter  will  rest  until  another  disturb- 
ance arises,  when  the  same  complaints  are  made,  and  the  same 

THE  NEZ  PEECfiS.  123 

answers  given  as  before — that  "  the  white  man's  heart  shall  be 
better,  and  the  boundary-line  shall  be  surveyed." 

Other  treaty  stipulations  are  still  unfulfilled ;  and  the  non- 
treaty  party,  while  entirely  peaceable,  is  very  strong,  and  im' 
movably  opposed  to  treaties. 

In  1870,  seven  years  after  it  was  promised,  the  long  deferred 
survey  of  the  reservation  was  made.  The  superintendent  and 
the  agent  both  remonstrated,  but  in  vain,  against  the  manner  in 
which  it  was  done;  and  three  years  later  a  Board  of  Special 
Commissioners,  appointed  to  inquire  into  the  condition  of  the 
Indians  in  Idaho,  examined  the  fence  put  up  at  that  time,  and 
reported  that  it  was  "  a  most  scandalous  fraud.  It  is  a  post- 
and-board  fence.  The  posts  are  not  well  set.  Much  of  the  lum- 
ber is  deficient  in  width  and  length.  The  posts  are  not  dressed. 
The  lumber  laps  at  any  joint  where  it  may  chance  to  meet, 
whether  on  the  posts  or  between  them,  and  the  boards  are  not 
jointed  on  the  posts  where  they  meet;  they  are  lapped  and 
fastened  generally  with  one  nail,  so  that  they  are  falling  down 
rapidly.  The  lumber  was  cut  on  the  reservation.  The  con- 
tract price  of  the  fence  was  very  high ;  the  fencing  done  in 
places  of  no  value  to  any  one,  for  the  reason  that  water  cannot 
be  had  for  irrigation.  The  Government  cannot  be  a  party  to 
such  frauds  on  the  people  who  intrust  it  with  their  property." 

In  this  year  a  commission  was  sent  to  Oregon  to  hold  coun- 
cil with  the  band  of  Nez  Perces  occupying  Wallowa  Valley,  in 
Oregon, "  with  a  view  to  their  removal,  if  practicable,  to  the 
Nez  Perce  Reservation  in  Idaho.  They  reported  this  removal 
to  be  impracticable,  and  the  "Wallowa  Valley  has  been  with- 
drawn from  sale,  and  set  apart  for  their  use  and  occupation  by 
Executive  order."* 

This  commission  report  that  one  of  the  most  troublesome 
questions  in  the  way  of  the  Government's  control  of  Indian  af- 

*  Report  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  for  1878. 

124  A   CENTURY   OP   DISHOtfOK. 

fairs  in  Idaho  is  the  contest  between  the  Catholic  and  Protes- 
tant churches.  This  strife  is  a  great  detriment  to  the  Indians. 
To  illustrate  this,  they  quote  Chief  Joseph's  reason  for  not 
wishing  schools  on  his  reservation.  He  was  the  chief  of  the 
non-treaty  band  of  Nez  Perces  occupying  the  Wallowa  Valley, 
in  Oregon : 

"  Do  you  want  schools  and  school-houses  on  the  Wallowa 
Reservation  ?"  asked  the  commissioners. 

Joseph.  "No,  we  do  not  want  schools  or  school-houses  on 
the  Wallowa  Reservation." 

Com.  "Why  do  you  not  want  schools?" 

Joseph.  "They  will  teach  us  to  have  churches." 

Com.  "  Do  you  not  want  churches  3" 

Joseph.  "  No,  we  do  not  want  churches." 

Com.  "  Why  do  you  not  want  churches  ?" 

Joseph.  "They  will  teach  us  to  quarrel  about  Q-od,  as  the 
Catholics  and  Protestants  do  on  the  Nez  Perc6  Reservation, 
and  at  other  places.  We  do  not  want  to  learn  that.  We  may 
quarrel  with  men  sometimes  about  things  on  this  earth,  but  we 
never  quarrel  about  God.  We  do  not  want  to  learn  that." 

Great  excitement  prevailed  among  the  settlers  in  Oregon  at 
the  cession  of  the  Wallowa  Valley  to  the  Indians.  The  pres- 
ence of  United  States  soldiers  prevented  any  outbreak ;  but  the 
resentment  of  the  whites  was  very  strong,  and  threats  were 
openly  made  that  the  Indians  should  not  be  permitted  to  oc- 
cupy it;  and  in  1875  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs 
writes : 

"  The  settlements  made  in  the  Wallowa  Valley,  which  has 
for  years  been  the  pasture-ground  of  the  large  herds  of  horses 
owned  by  Joseph's  band,  will  occasion  more  or  less  trouble 
between  this  band  and  the  whites,  until  Joseph  is  induced  or 
compelled  to  settle  on  his  reservation." 

It  is  only  two  years  since  this  valley  was  set  apart  by  Execu- 
tive order  for  the  use  and  occupation  of  these  Indians;  already 

THE   NEZ   PEIiCES.  125 

the  Department  is  contemplating  "  compelling  "  them  to  leave 
it  and  go  to  the  reservation  in  Idaho.  There  were  stormy 
scenes  there  also  during  this  year.  Suits  were  brought  against 
all  the  employes  of  the  Lapwai  Agency,  and  a  claim  set  up  for 
all  the  lands  of  the  agency,  and  for  many  of  the  Indian  farms, 
by  one  Langf  ord,  representing  the  old  claim  of  the  missionaries, 
to  whom  a  large  tract  of  ground  had  been  ceded  some  thirty 
years  before.  He  attempted  to  take  forcible  possession  of  the 
place,  and  was  ejected  finally  by  military  force,  after  the  de- 
cision of  the  Attorney-general  had  been  given  that  his  claim 
was  invalid. 

The  Indian  Bureau  recommended  a  revocation  of  the  execu- 
tive order  giving  the  Wallowa  Valley  to  Joseph  and  his  band. 
In  June  of  this  year  President  Grant  revoked  the  order,  and 
in  the  autumn  a  commission  was  sent  out  "  to  visit  these  In- 
dians, with  a  view  to  secure  their  permanent  settlement  on  the 
reservation,  their  early  entrance  on  a  civilized  life,  and  to  adjust 
the  difficulties  then  existing  between  them  and  the  settlers." 

It  is  worth  while  to  study  with  some  care  the  reasons  which 
this  commission  gave  to  Chief  Joseph  why  the  Wallowa  Val- 
ley, which  had  been  given  to  him  by  Executive  order  in  1873, 
must  be  taken  away  from  him  by  Executive  order  in  1875 : 

"  Owing  to  the  coldness  of  the  climate,  it  is  not  a  suitable 
location  for  an  Indian  reservation.  *  *  *  It  is  now  in  part  set- 
tled by  white  squatters  for  grazing  purposes.  *  *  *  The  Presi- 
dent claimed  that  he  extinguished  the  Indian  title  to  it  by  the 
treaty  of  1863.  *  *  *  It  is  embraced  within  the  limits  of  the 
State  of  Oregon.  *  *  *  The  State  of  Oregon  could  not  prob- 
ably be  induced  to  cede  the  jurisdiction  of  the  valley  to  the 
United  States  for  an  Indian  reservation.  *  *  *  In  the  conflicts 
which  might  arise  in  the  future,  as  in  the  past,  between  him 
and  the  whites,  the  President  rpight  not  be  able  to  justify  or 
defend  Lira.  *  *  *  A  part  of  the  valley  had  already  been  sur- 
veyed and  opened  to  settlement :  *  *  *  if,  by  some  arrange- 


inent,  the  white  settlers  in  the  valley  could  be  induced  to  leave 
it,  others  would  come." 

To  all  these  statements  Joseph  replied  that  he  "  asked  noth- 
ing of  the  President.  He  was  able  to  take  care  of  himself.  He 
did  not  desire  Wallow  a  Valley  as  a  reservation,  for  that  would 
subject  him  and  his  band  to  the  will  of,  and  dependence  on, 
another,  and  to  laws  not  of  their  own  making.  He  was  dis- 
posed to  live  peaceably.  He  and  his  band  had  suffered  wrong 
rather  than  do  wrong.  One  of  their  number  was  wickedly 
slain  by  a  white  man  during  the  last  summer,  but  he  would 
not  avenge  his  death." 

"  The  serious  and  feeling  manner  in  which  he  uttered  these 
sentiments  was  impressive,"  the  commissioners  say,  and  they 
proceeded  to  reply  to  him  "  that  the  President  was  not  dis- 
posed to  deprive  him  of  any  just  right,  or  govern  him  by  his 
individual  will,  but  merely  subject  him  to  the  same  just  and 
equal  laws  by  which  he  himself  as  well  as  all  his  people  were 

What  does  it  mean  when  commissioners  sent  by  the  Presi- 
dent to  induce  a  band  of  Indians  to  go  on  a  reservation  to  live, 
tell  them  that  they  shall  be  subjected  on  that  reservation 
"  merely  to  the  same  just  and  equal  laws  "  by  which  the  Pres- 
ident and  "  all  his  people  are  ruled  ?"  And  still  more,  what  is 
the  explanation  of  their  being  so  apparently  unaware  of  the 
enormity  of  the  lie  that  they  leave  it  on  official  record,  signed 
by  their  names  in  full  ?  It  is  only  explained,  as  thousands  of 
other  things  in  the  history  of  our  dealings  with  the  Indians 
are  only  to  be  explained,  by  the  habitual  indifference,  careless- 
ness, and  inattention  with  which  questions  relative  to  Indian 
affairs  and  legislation  thereon  are  handled  and  disposed  of,  in 
whatever  way  seems  easiest  and  shortest  for  the  time  being. 
The  members  of  this  commission  knew  perfectly  well  that  the 
instant  Joseph  and  his  band  moved  on  to  the  reservation  they 
became  subject  to  laws  totally  different  from  those  by  which 

THE   NEZ  PERCYS.  127 

the  President  and  "all  his  people  were  ruled,"  and  neither 
"  just "  nor  "  equal :"  laws  forbidding  them  to  go  beyond  cer- 
tain bounds  without  a  pass  from  the  agent ;  laws  making  them 
really  just  as  much  prisoners  as  convicts  in  a  prison — the  only 
difference  being  that  the  reservation  is  an  un walled  out-of- 
door  prison ;  laws  giving  that  agent  power  to  summon  milita- 
ry power  at  any  moment,  to  enforce  any  command  he  might 
choose  to  lay  on  them,  and  to  shoot  them  if  they  refused  to 
obey.*  "  The  same  just  and  equal  laws  by  which  the  President 
himself  and  all  his  people  are  ruled!"  Truly  it  is  a  psychologi- 
cal phenomenon  that  four  men  should  be  found  willing  to  leave 
it  on  record  under  their  own  signatures  that  they  said  this  thing. 

Farther  on  in  the  same  report  there  is  an  enumeration  of 
some  of  the  experiences  which  the  Nez  Perces  who  are  on  the 
Idaho  Keservation  have  had  of  the  advantages  of  living  there, 
and  of  the  manner  in  which  the  Government  has  fulfilled  its 
promises  by  which  it  induced  them  to  go  there ;  undoubtedly 
these  were  all  as  well  known  to  Chief  Joseph  as  to  the  com- 
missioners. For  twenty-two  years  he  had  had  an  opportunity 
to  study  the  workings  of  the  reservation  policy.  They  say : 

"During  an  interview  held  with  the  agent  and  the  treaty 
Indians,  for  the  purpose  of  ascertaining  whether  there  were  suf- 
ficient unoccupied  tillable  lands  for  Joseph's  band  on  the  res- 
ervation, and  for  the  further  purpose  of  securing  their  co-oper- 
ation to  aid  us  in  inducing  Joseph  to  come  upon  the  reserva- 
tion, facts  were  brought  to  our  attention  of  a  failure  on  the 
part  of  the  Government  to  fulfil  its  treaty  stipulations  with 
these  Indians.  The  commission  therefore  deem  it  their  duty 
to  call  the  attention  of  the  Government  to  this  subject. 

"  1st.  Article  second  of  the  treaty  of  June  9th,  1863,  provides 
that  no  white  man — excepting  such  as  may  be  employed  by  the 

*  Witness  the  murder  of  Big  Snake  on  the  Ponca  Keservation,  Indian 
Territory,  in  the  summer  of  1879. 


Indian  Department — shall  be  permitted  to  reside  upon  the  res- 
ervation without  permission  of  the  tribe,  and  the  superintend- 
ent and  the  agent.  Nevertheless,  four  white  men  are  occupy- 
ing or  claiming  large  tracts  on  the  reservation. 

"It  is  clearly  the  duty  of  the  Government  to  adjust  and 
quiet  these  claims,  and  remove  the  parties  from  the  reserva- 
tion. Each  day's  delay  to  fulfil  this  treaty  stipulation  adds  to 
the  distrust  of  the  Indians  in  the  good  faith  of  the  Govern- 

"  2d.  Article  third  of  the  same  treaty  of  1863  provides  for  the 
survey  of  the  land  suitable  for  cultivation  into  lots  of  twenty 
acres  each ;  while  a  survey  is  reported  to  have  been  early  made, 
no  measures  were  then,  or  have  been  since,  taken  to  adjust  farm 
limits  to  the  lines  of  the  surveyed  lots. 

"  3d.  Rules  and  regulations  for  continuing  the  possession  of 
these  lots  and  the  improvements  thereon  in  the  families  of  de- 
ceased Indians,  have  not  been  prescribed,  as  required  by  the 

"  4th.  It  is  also  provided  that  certificates  or  deeds  for  such 
tracts  shall  be  issued  to  individual  Indians. 

"  The  failure  of  the  Government  to  comply  with  this  impor- 
tant provision  of  the  treaty  causes  much  uneasiness  among  the 
Indians,  who  are  little  inclined  to  spend  their  labor  and  means 
in  improving  ground  held  by  the  uncertain  tenure  of  the  pleas- 
ure of  an  agent. 

"  5th.  Article  seventh  of  the  treaty  provides  for  a  payment 
of  four  thousand  six  hundred  and  sixty-five  dollars  in  gold  coin 
to  them  for  services  and  horses  furnished  the  Oregon  Mounted 
Volunteers  in  1856.  It  is  asserted  by  the  Indians  that  this 
provision  of  the  treaty  has  hitherto  been  disregarded  by  the 

The  commissioners  say  that  "  every  consideration  of  justice 
and  equity,  as  well  as  expediency,  demands  from  the  Govern- 
ment a  faithful  and  literal  compliance  with  all  its  treaty  obli- 

THE   NEZ  PEBCfiS.  129 

gations  toward  the  Indians.  A  failure  to  do  this  is  looked 
upon  as  bad  faitb,  and  can  be  productive  of  only  bad  re- 

At  last  Chief  Joseph  consented  to  remove  from  the  Wallowa 
Valley  with  his  band,  and  go  to  the  Lapwai  Reservation.  The 
incidents  of  the  council  in  which  this  consent  was  finally 
wrung  from  him,  are  left  on  record  in  Chief  Joseph's  own 
words,  in  an  article  written  by  him  (through  an  interpreter) 
and  published  in  the  North  American  Review  in  1874.  It  is 
a  remarkable  contribution  to  Indian  history. 

It  drew  out  a  reply  from  General  0.  0.  Howard,  who  called 
his  paper  "  The  true  History  of  the  Wallowa  Campaign ;"  pub- 
lished in  the  North  American  Review  two  months  after  Chief 
Joseph's  paper. 

Between  the  accounts  given  by  General  Howard  and  by 
Chief  Joseph  of  the  events  preceding  the  Nez  Perce  war,  there 
are  noticeable  discrepancies. 

General  Howard  says  that  he  listened  to  the  "oft -repeated 
dreamer  nonsense  of  the  chief ,' Too-hool-hool-suit,'  with  no 
impatience,  but  finally  said  to  him  :  '  Twenty  times  over  I  hear 
that  the  earth  is  your  mother,  and  about  the  chieftainship  of 
the  earth.  I  want  to  hear  it  no  more.' " 

Chief  Joseph  says :  "  General  Howard  lost  his  temper,  and 
said  *  Shut  up  I  I  don't  want  to  hear  any  more  of  such 

"  Too-hool-hool-suit  answered,  *  Who  are  you,  that  you  ask 
ns  to  talk,  and  then  tell  me  I  sha'n't  talk?  Are  you  the  Great 
Spirit?  Did  you  make  the  world?' " 

General  Howard,  quoting  from  his  record  at  the  time, says: 
"  The  rough  old  fellow,  in  his  most  provoking  tone,  says  some- 
thing in  a  short  sentence,  looking  fiercely  at  me.  The  inter- 
preter quickly  says :  l  He  demands  what  person  pretends  to  di- 
vide this  land,  and  put  me  on  it  ?'  In  the  most  decided  voice 
I  said,  *  I  am  the  man.  I  stand  here  for  the  President,  and 



there  is  no  spirit,  bad  or  good,  that  will  hinder  me.     My  orders 
are  plain,  and  will  be  executed.' " 

Chief  Joseph  says:  "General  Howard  replied,  *  You  are  an 
impudent  fellow,  and  I  will  put  you  in  the  guard-house,'  and 
then  ordered  a  soldier  to  arrest  him." 

General  Howard  says :  "  After  telling  the  Indians  that  this 
bad  advice  would  be  their  ruin,  I  asked  the  chiefs  to  go  with 
me  to  look  at  their  land.  c  The  old  man  (Too-hool-hool-suit) 
shall  not  go.  I  will  leave  him  with  Colonel  Perry.'  He  says, 
1  Do  you  want  to  scare  me  with  reference  to  my  body  ¥  I  said, 
4 1  will  leave  your  body  with  Colonel  Perry.'  I  then  arose  and 
led  him  out  of  the  council,  and  gave  him  into  the  charge  of 
Colonel  Perry." 

Chief  Joseph  says :  "  Too-hool-hool-suit  made  no  resistance. 
He  asked  General  Howard,  'Is  that  your  order?  I  don't  care. 
I  have  expressed  my  heart  to  you.  I  have  nothing  to  take 
back.  I  have  spoken  for  my  country.  You  can  arrest  me,  but 
you  cannot  change  me,  or  make  me  take  back  what  I  have 
said.'  The  soldiers  came  forward  and  seized  my  friend,  and 
took  him  to  the  guard  -  house.  My  men  whispered  among 
themselves  whether  they  should  let  this  thing  be  done.  I 
counselled  them  to  submit.  *  *  *  Too-hool-hool-suit  was  pris- 
oner for  five  days  before  he  was  released." 

General  Howard,  it  will  be  observed,  does  not  use  the  word 
"  arrested,"  but  as  he  says,  later,  "  Too-hool-hool-suit  was  re- 
leased on  the  pledge  of  Looking-glass  and  White  Bird,  and  on 
his  own  earnest  promise  to  behave  better,"  it  is  plain  that  Chief 
Joseph  did  not  misstate  the  facts.  This  Indian  chief,  therefore, 
was  put  under  military  arrest,  and  confined  for  five  days,  for 
uttering  what  General  Howard  calls  a  "  tirade  "  in  a  council  to 
which  the  Indians  had  been  asked  to  come  for  the  purpose  of 
consultation  and  expression  of  sentiment. 

Does  not  Chief  Joseph  speak  common-sense,  as  well  as  natu- 
ral feeling,  in  saying, "  I  turned  to  my  pcoplo  and  said, '  The 

THE   NEZ  PERCYS.  131 

arrest  of  Too-hool-hool-suit  was  wrong,  but  we  will  not  resent 
the  insult.  We  were  invited  to  this  council  to  express  our 
hearts,  and  we  have  done  so.' " 

If  such  and  so  swift  penalty  as  this,  for  "  tirades  "  in  council, 
were  the  law  of  our  land,  especially  in  the  District  of  Columbia, 
it  would  be  "  no  just  cause  of  complaint "  when  Indians  suffer 
it.  But  considering  the  frequency, length, and  safety  of  "ti- 
rades" in  all  parts  of  America,  it  seems  unjust  not  to  permit 
Indians  to  deliver  them.  However,  they  do  come  under  the 
head  of  "  spontaneous  productions  of  the  soil ;"  and  an  Indian 
on  a  reservation  is  "invested  with  no  such  proprietorship"  in 
anything  which  comes  under  that  head.* 

Chief  Joseph  and  his  band  consented  to  move.  Chief  Joseph 
says :  "  I  said  in  my  heart  that,  rather  than  have  war,  I  would 
give  up  my  country.  I  would  give  up  my  father's  grave.  I 
would  give  up  everything  rather  than  have  the  blood  of  white 
men  upon  the  hands  of  my  people." 

It  was  not  easy  for  Joseph  to  bring  his  people  to  consent  to 
move.  The  young  men  wished  to  fight.  It  has  been  told  that, 
at  this  time,  Chief  Joseph  rode  one  day  through  his  village, 
with  a  revolver  in  each  hand,  saying  he  would  shoot  the  first 
one  of  his  warriors  that  resisted  the  Government.  Finally,  they 
gathered  all  the  stock  they  could  find,  and  began  the  move.  A 
storm  came,  and  raised  the  river  so  high  that  some  of  the  cat- 
tle could  not  be  taken  across.  Indian  guards  were  put  in  charge 
of  the  cattle  left  behind.  White  men  attacked  these  guards 
and  took  the  cattle.  After  this  Joseph  could  no  longer  restrain 
his  men,  and  the  warfare  began,  which  lasted  over  two  months. 
It  was  a  masterly  campaign  on  the  part  of  the  Indians,  They 
were  followed  by  General  Howard ;  they  had  General  Crook 
on  their  right,  and  General  Miles  in  front,  but  they  were  not 
once  hemmed  in ;  and,  at  last,  when  they  surrendered  at  Beat 

*  Annual  Report  of  the  Indian  Commissioner  for  1878,  p.  6&. 


Paw  Mountain,  in  the  Montana  Hills,  it  was  not  because  they 
were  beaten,  but  because,  as  Joseph  says,  "  I  could  not  bear  to 
see  my  wounded  men  and  women  suffer  any  longer ;  we  had 
lost  enough  already.  *  *  *  We  could  have  escaped  from  Bear 
Paw  Mountain  if  we  had  left  our  wounded,  old  women  and 
children,  behind.  We  were  unwilling  to  do  this.  We  had 
never  heard  of  a  wounded  Indian  recovering  while  in  the  hands 
of  white  men.  *  *  *  I  believed  General  Miles,  or  I  never  would 
have  surrendered.  I  have  heard  that  he  has  been  censured  for 
making  the  promise  to  return  us  to  Lapwai.  He  could  not 
have  made  any  other  terms  with  me  at  that  time.  I  could 
have  held  him  in  check  until  my  friends  came  to  my  assistance, 
and  then  neither  of  the  generals  nor  their  soldiers  would  ever 
have  left  Bear  Paw  Mountain  alive.  On  the  fifth  day  I  went 
to  General  Miles  and  gave  up  my  gun,  and  said,  *  From  where 
the  sun  now  stands,  I  will  fight  no  more.'  My  people  needed 
rest ;  we  wanted  peace." 

The  terms  of  this  surrender  were  shamefully  violated.  Joseph 
and  his  band  were  taken  first  to  Fort  Leavenworth  and  then  to 
the  Indian  Territory.  At  Leavenworth  they  were  placed  in  the 
river  bottom,  with  no  water  but  the  river  water  to  drink. 

"  Many  of  my  people  sickened  and  died,  and  we  buried  them 
in  this  strange  land,"  says  Joseph.  "  I  cannot  tell  how  much 
my  heart  suffered  for  my  people  while  at  Leavenworth.  The 
Great  Spirit  Chief  who  rules  above  seemed  to  be  looking  some 
other  way,  and  did  not  see  what  was  being  done  to  my  people." 

Yet  with  a  marvellous  magnanimity,  and  a  clear-headed  sense 
of  justice  of  which  few  men  would  be  capable  under  the  cir- 
cumstances, Joseph  says:  "I  believe  General  Miles  would  have 
kept  his  word  if  he  could  have  done  so.  I  do  not  blame  him 
for  what  we  have  suffered  since  the  surrender.  I  do  not  know 
who  is  to  blame.  We  gave  up  all  our  horses,  over  eleven  hun- 
dred, and  all  our  saddles,  over  one  hundred,  and  we  have  not 
heard  from  them  since.  Somebody  has  got  our  horses." 


This  narrative  of  Chief  Joseph's  is  profoundly  touching;  a 
very  Iliad  of  tragedy,  of  dignified  and  hopeless  sorrow ;  and  it 
stands  supported  by  the  official  records  of  the  Indian  Bureau. 

"After  the  arrival  of  Joseph  and  his  hand  in  Indian  Territo- 
ry, the  had  effect  of  their  location  at  Fort  Leaven  worth  mani- 
fested itself  in  the  prostration  by  sickness  at  one  time  of  two 
hundred  and  sixty  out  of  the  four  hundred  and  ten  ;  and '  with- 
in a  few  months '  in  the  death  of  *  more  than  one-quarter  of  the 
entire  number.'  "* 

"It  will  be  borne  in  mind  that  Joseph  has  never  made  a 
treaty  with  the  United  States,  and  that  he  has  never  surrendered 
to  the  Government  the  lands  he  claimed  to  own  in  Idaho.  *  *  * 
Joseph  and  his  followers  have  shown  themselves  to  be  brave 
men  and  skilful  soldiers,  who,  with  one  exception,  have  ob- 
served the  rules  of  civilized  warfare.  *  *  *  These  Indians  were 
encroached  upon  by  white  settlers,  on  soil  they  believed  to  be 
their  own,  and  when  these  encroachments  became  intolerable, 
they  were  compelled  in  their  own  estimation  to  take  up 

Chief  Joseph  and  a  remnant  of  his  band  are  still  in  Indian 
Territory,  waiting  anxiously  the  result  of  the  movement  now 
being  made  by  the  Ponca  chief,  Standing  Bear,  and  his  friends 
and  legal-  advisers,  to  obtain  from  the  Supreme  Court  a  decision 
which  will  extend  the  protection  of  the  civil  law  to  every  In- 
dian in  the  country. 

Of  the  remainder  of  the  Nez  Percys  (those  who  are  on  the 
Lapwai  Reservation),  the  report  of  the  Indian  Bureau  for  1879 
is  that  they  "  support  themselves  entirely  without  subsistence 
from  the  Government ;  procure  of  their  own  accord,  and  at 
their  own  expense,  wagons,  harness,  and  other  farming  imple- 
ments beyond  the  amount  furnished  by  the  Government  undei 

*  Annual  Report  of  the  Indian  Commissioner  for  18Y8,  p.  83. 
f  Same  Report,  p.  84. 


their  treaty,"  and  that  "  as  many  again  as  were  taught  were 
turned  away  from  school  for  lack  of  room." 

The  Presbyterian  Board  of  Foreign  Missions  has  contributed 
during  this  year  $1750  for  missionary  wort  among  them,  and 
the  Indians  themselves  have  raised  $125. 

Their  reservation  is  thus  described :  "  The  majority  of  land 
comprising  the  reservation  is  a  vast  rolling  prairie,  affording 
luxuriant  pasturage  for  thousands  of  their  cattle  and  horses. 
The  Clearwater  Eiver,  flowing  as  it  does  directly  through  the 
reserve,  branching  out  in  the  North,  Middle,  and  South  Forks, 
greatly  benefits  their  locations  that  they  have  taken  in  the  val- 
leys lying  between  such  river  and  the  bluffs  of  the  higher  land, 
forming  in  one  instance — at  Kaimaih — one  of  the  most  pictu- 
resque locations  to  be  found  in  the  whole  North-west.  Situated 
in  a  valley  on  either  side  of  the  South  Fork,  in  length  about 
six  miles,  varying  in  width  from  one-half  to  two  miles;  in  form 
like  a  vast  amphitheatre,  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  nearly  per- 
pendicular bluffs  rising  two  thousand  feet  in  height,  it  forms 
one  of  the  prettiest  valleys  one  can  imagine.  A  view  from  the 
bluff  reveals  a  living  panorama,  as  one  sees  the  vast  fields  of 
waving  grain  surrounding  well-built  and  tasty  cottages  adorned 
with  porches,  and  many  of  the  conveniences  found  among  in- 
dustrious whites.  The  sight  would  lead  a  stranger,  not  knowing 
of  its  inhabitance  by  Indians,  to  inquire  what  prosperous  white 
settlement  was  located  here.  It  is  by  far  the  most  advanced  in 
the  ways  of  civilization  and  progress  of  any  in  the  Territory, 
if  not  on  the  coast." 

How  long  will  the  white  men  of  Idaho  permit  Indians  to  oc- 
cupy so  fair  a  domain  as  this?  The  small  cloud,  no  larger 
than  a  man's  hand,  already  looms  on  their  horizon.  The  clos- 
ing paragraph  of  this  (the  last)  report  from  the  Nez  Percys  is : 

"  Some  uneasiness  is  manifest  about  stories  set  afloat  by  ren- 
egade whites,  in  relation  to  their  treatment  at  the  expiration  of 
their  treaty  next  July,  but  I  have  talked  the  matter  over,  and 

THE   NE2  PEBCES.  136 

they  "will  wait  patiently  to  see  the  action  on  the  part  of  the 
Government.  They  are  well  civilized ;  but  one  mistake  on  the 
part  of  the  Government  at  this  time  would  destroy  the  effects 
of  the  past  thirty  years'  teachings.  Give  them  time  and  atten- 
tion ;  they  will  astonish  their  most  zealous  friends  in  their 
progress  toward  civilization." 




THE  word  Sioux  is  a  contraction  from  the  old  French  word 
"  Nadonessioux,"  or  "  Enemies,"  the  name  given  by  the  French 
traders  to  this  most  powerful  and  warlike  of  all  the  North-west- 
ern  tribes.  They  called  themselves  "Dakota,"  or  "many  in 
one,"  because  so  many  bands  under  different  names  were  joined 
together.  At  the  time  of  Captain  Carver's  travels  among  the 
North  American  Indians  there  were  twelve  known  bands  of 
these  "  Nadouwessies."  They  entertained  the  captain  most 
hospitably  for  seven  months  during  the  winter  of  I766~"f ; 
adopted  him  as  one  of  their  chiefs ;  and  when  the  time  came 
for  him  to  depart,  three  hundred  of  them  accompanied  him 
for  a  distance  on  his  journey,  and  took  leave  with  expres- 
sions of  friendship  for  him,  and  good-will  toward  the  Great 
Father,  the  English  king,  of  whom  he  had  told  them.  The 
chiefs  wished  him  to  say  to  the  king  "how  much  we  desire 
that  traders  may  be  sent  to  abide  among  us  with  such  things 
as  we  need,  that  the  hearts  of  our  young  men,  our  wives,  and 
children  may  be  made  glad.  And  may  peace  subsist  between 
us  so  long  as  the  sun,  the  moon,  the  earth,  and  the  waters  shall 
endure ;"  and  "acquaint  the  Great  King  how  much  the  Nadou- 
wessies  wish  to  be  counted  among  his  good  children."* 

Nothing  in  all  the  history  of  the  earliest  intercourse  between 
the  friendly  tribes  of  North  American  Indians  and  the  Euro- 
peans coming  among  them  is  more  pathetic  than  the  accounts 
of  their  simple  hospitality,  their  unstinted  invitations,  and  their 


guileless  expressions  of  desire  for  a  greater  knowledge  of  the 
white  men's  ways. 

When  that  saintly  old  bigot,  Father  Hennepin,  sailed  up  the 
Illinois  River,  in  1680,  carrying  his  "portable  chapel,"  chalice, 
and  chasuble,  and  a  few  holy  wafers  "  in  a  steel  box,  shut  very 
close,"  going  to  teach  the  savages  "  the  knowledge  of  the  Cap- 
tain of  Heaven  and  Earth,  and  to  use  fire-arms,  and  several 
other  things  relating  to  their  advantage,"  the  Illinois  were  so 
terrified  that,  although  they  were  several  thousand  strong,  they 
took  to  flight  "with  horrid  cries  and  bowlings."  On  being 
reassured  by  signs  and  words  of  friendliness,  they  slowly  re- 
turned— some,  however,  not  until  three  or  four  days  had  passed. 
Then  they  listened  to  the  good  man's  discourses  with  "  great 
attention ;  afterward  gave  a  great  shout  for  joy,"  and  "  ex- 
pressed a  great  gratitude ;"  and,  the  missionaries  being  foot- 
sore from  long  travel,  the  kindly  creatures  fell  to  rubbing  their 
legs  and  feet  "with  oil  of  bears,  and  grease  of  wild  oxen, 
which  after  much  travel  is  an  incomparable  refreshment ;  and 
presented  us  some  flesh  to  eat,  putting  the  three  first  morsels 
into  our  mouths  with  great  ceremonies." 

It  was  a  pity  that  Father  Hennepin  had  no  more  tangible 
benefit  than  the  doctrine  of  the  "efficacy  of  the  Sacraments"  to 
communicate  to  the  hospitable  Illinois  in  return  for  their  heal- 
ing ointments.  Naturally  they  did  not  appreciate  this,  and  he 
proceeded  on  his  way  disheartened  by  their  "brutish  stupid- 
ity," but  consoling  himself,  however,  with  the  thought  of  the 
infants  he  had  baptized.  Hearing  of  the  death  of  one  of  them, 
he  says  he  is  "glad  it  had  pleased  God  to  take  this  little  -Chris- 
tian out  of  the  world,"  and  he  attributed  his  own  "  preservation 
amidst  the  greatest  dangers"  afterward  to  "the  care  he  took 
for  its  baptism."  Those  dangers  were,  indeed,  by  no  means  in- 
considerable, as  he  and  his  party  were  taken  prisoners  by  a 
roaming  party  of  these  Indians,  called  in  the  Father's  quaint 

old  book  "  Nadouwessians."     He  was  forced  to  accompany 



them  on  their  expeditions,  and  was  in  daily  danger  of  being 
murdered  by  the  more  riotous  and  hostile  members  of  the 
band.  lie  found  these  savages  on  the  whole  "good-natured 
men,  affable,  civil,  and  obliging,"  and  he  was  indebted  for  his 
life  to  the  good-will  of  one  of  the  chiefs,  who  protected  him 
again  and  again  at  no  inconsiderable  danger  to  himself.  The 
only  evidence  of  religion  among  the  Nadouwessies  which  he 
mentions  is  that  they  never  began  to  smoke  without  first  hold- 
ing the  pipe  up  to  the  sun,  saying,  "  Smoke,  sun  1"  They  also 
offered  to  the  sun  the  best  part  of  every  beast  they  killed,  car- 
rying it  afterward  to  the  cabin  of  their  chief ;  from  which  Fa- 
ther Hennepin  concluded  that  they  had  "  a  religious  veneration 
for  the  sun." 

The  diplomatic  relations  between  the  United  States  Govern- 
ment and  the  Sioux  began  in  the  year  1815.  In  that  year  and 
the  year  following  we  made  sixteen  "  treaties "  of  peace  and 
friendship  with  different  tribes  of  Indians — treaties  demanding 
no  cessions  of  land  beyond  the  original  grants  which  had  been 
made  by  these  tribes  to  the  English,  French,  or  Spanish  govern- 
ments, but  confirming  those  to  the  United  States ;  promising 
"  perpetual  peace,"  and  declaring  that  "  every  injury  or  act  of 
hostility  committed  by  one  or  other  of  the  contracting  parties 
shall  be  mutually  forgiven  and  forgot."  Three  of  these  treaties 
were  made  with  bands  of  the  Sioux — one  of  them  with  "  the 
Sioux  of  the  Leaf,  the  Sioux  of  the  Broad  Leaf,  and  the  Sioux 
who  shoot  in  the  Pine-tops." 

In  1825  four  more  treaties  were  made  with  separate  Sioux 
bands.  By  one  of  those  treaties — that  of  Prairie  du  Chien — 
boundaries  were  defined  between  the  Chippewas  and  the  Sioux, 
and  it  was  hoped  that  their  incessant  feuds  might  be  brought 
to  an  end.  This  hostility  had  continued  unabated  from  the 
time  of  the  earliest  travellers  in  the  country,  and  the  Sioux  had 
been  slowly  but  steadily  driven  south  and  west  by  the  victo- 
rious Chippewas.  A  treaty  could  not  avail  very  much  toward 

THIS   SIOUX.  139 

keeping  peace  between  such  ancient  enemies  as  these.  Fight- 
ing went  on  as  before ;  and  white  traders,  being  exposed  to  the 
attacks  of  all  war-parties,  suffered  almost  more  than  the  Indians 
themselves.  The  Government  consoled  itself  for  this  spectacle 
of  bloody  war,  which  it  was  powerless  to  prevent,  by  the 
thought  that  the  Indians  would  "  probably  fight  on  until  some 
one  or  other  of  the  tribes  shall  become  too  reduced  and  feeble 
to  carry  on  the  war,  when  it  will  be  lost  as  a  separate  power  " 
— an  equivocal  bit  of  philosophizing  which  was  unequivocally 
stated  in  these  precise  words  in  one  of  the  annual  reports  of 
the  War  Department. 

In  the  third  Article  of  the  next  treaty,  also  at  Prairie  du 
Chien,  in  1830,  began  the  trouble  which  has  been  from  that 
day  to  this  a  source  of  never  ending  misunderstanding  and  of 
many  fierce  outbreaks  on  the  part  of  the  Sioux.  Four  of  the 
bands  by  this  article  ceded  and  relinquished  to  the  United 
States  "  forever"  a  certain  tract  of  country  between  the  Missis- 
sippi and  the  Des  Moines  River.  In  this,  and  in  a  still  further 
cession,  two  other  bands  of  Sioux,  who  were  not  fully  repre- 
sented at  the  council,  must  join ;  also,  some  four  or  five  other 
tribes.  Landed  and  "undivided"  estate,  owned  in  common  by 
dozens  of  families,  would  be  a  very  difficult  thing  to  parcel  out 
and  transfer  among  white  men  to-day,  with  the  best  that  fair 
intentions  and  legal  skill  combined  could  do ;  how  much  more 
so  in  those  days  of  unsurveyed  forests,  unexplored  rivers, 
owned  and  occupied  in  common  by  dozens  of  bands  of  wild 
and  ignorant  Indians,  to  be  communicated  with  only  by  inter- 
preters. Misconstructions  and  disputes  about  boundaries  would 
have  been  inevitable,  even  if  there  had  been  all  possible  fair- 
mindedness  and  good-will  on  both  sides ;  but  in  this  case  there 
was  only  unfairmindedness  on  one  side,  and  unwillingness  on 
the  other.  All  the  early  makers  of  treaties  with  the  Indians 
congratulated  themselves  and  the  United  States  on  the  getting 
of  acres  of  valuable  land  by  the  million  for  next  to  nothing, 


and,  as  years  went  on,  openly  lamented  that  "  the  Indians  were 
beginning  to  find  out  what  lands  were  worth ;"  while  the  In- 
dians, anxious,  alarmed,  hostile  at  heart,  seeing  themselves  hard- 
er and  harder  pressed  on  all  sides,  driven  "to  provide  other 
sources  for  supplying  their  wants  besides  those  of  hunting, 
which  must  soon  entirely  fail  them,"*  yielded  mile  after  mile 
with  increasing  sense  of  loss,  which  they  were  powerless  to  pre- 
vent, and  of  resentment  which  it  would  have  been  worse  than 
impolitic  for  them  to  show. 

The  first  annuities  promised  to  the  Sioux  were  promised  by 
this  treaty — §3000  annually  for  ten  years  to  the  Yankton  and 
Santee  bands;  to  the  other  four,  $2000.  The  Yankton  and 
San  tee  bands  were  to  pay  out  of  their  annuity  $100  yearly  to 
the  Otoes,  because  part  of  some  land  which  was  reserved  for 
the  half-breeds  of  the  tribe  had  originally  belonged  to  the 
Otoes.  "A  blacksmith,  at  the  expense  of  the  United  States; 
also,  instruments  for  agricultural  purposes ;  and  iron  and  steel 
to  the  amount  of  $700  annually  for  ten  years  to  some  of  the 
bands,  and  to  the  amount  of  $400  to  the  others ;  also,  $3000  a 
year  '  for  educational  purposes,5  and  $3000  in  presents  distrib- 
uted at  the  time,"  were  promised  them. 

It  was  soon  after  these  treaties  that  the  artist  Gatlin  made  his 
famous  journey  d  among  the  North  American  Indians,  and  gave 
to  the  world  an  invaluable  contribution  to  their  history,  per- 
petuating in  his  pictures  the  distinctive  traits  of  their  faces 
and  their  dress,  and  leaving  on  record  many  pages  of  unassail- 
able testimony  as  to  their  characteristics  in  their  native  state, 
He  spent  several  weeks  among  the  Sioux,  and  says  of  them : 
"  There  is  no  tribe  on  the  continent  of  finer  looking  men,  and 
few  tribes  who  are  better  and  more  comfortably  clad  and  sup- 
plied with  the  necessaries  of  life.  *  *  *  I  have  travelled  several 
years  already  among  these  people,  and  I  have  not  had  my  seal  f 

*  Treaty  of  Prairie  du  Chiea. 


taken,  nor  a  blow  struck  me,  nor  Lad  occasion  to  raise  my 
hand  against  an  Indian ;  nor  has  my  property  been  stolen  as 
yet  to  my  knowledge  to  the  value  of  a  shilling,  and  that  in  a 
country  where  no  man  is  punishable  by  law  for  the  crime  of 
stealing.  *  *  *  That  the  Indians  in  their  native  state  are  drunk- 
en, is  false,  for  they  are  the  only  temperance  people,  literally 
speaking,  that  ever  I  saw  in  my  travels,  or  expect  to  see.  If 
the  civilized  world  are  startled  at  this,  it  is  the  fact  that  they 
must  battle  with,  not  with  me.  These  people  manufacture  no 
spirituous  liquor  themselves,  and  know  nothing  of  it  until  it 
is  brought  into  their  country,  and  tendered  to  them  by  Chris- 

"That  these  people  are  naked,  is  equally  untrue,  and  as 
easily  disproved  with  the  paintings  I  have  made,  and  with 
their  beautiful  costumes  wnich  I  shall  bring  home,  I  shall  be 
able  to  establish  the  fact  that  many  of  these  people  dress  not 
only  with  clothes  comfortable  for  any  latitude,  but  that  they 
dress  also  with  some  considerable  taste  and  elegance.  *  *  *  Nor 
am  I  quite  sure  that  they  are  entitled  to  the  name  of  'poor* 
who  live  in  a  country  of  boundless  green  fields,  with  good 
horses  to  ride ;  where  they  are  all  joint  tenants  of  the  soil  to- 
gether; where  the  Great  Spirit  has  supplied  them  with  an 
abundance  of  food  to  eat." 

Catiin  found  six  hundred  families  of  the  Sioux  camped  at 
one  time  around  Fort  Pierre,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Teton  River, 
on  the  west  bank  of  the  Missouri.  There  were  some  twenty 
bands,  each  with  their  chief,  over  whom  was  one  superior  chief, 
called  Ha-won-je-tah  (the  One  Horn),  whose  portrait  is  one  of 
the  finest  in  Catlin's  book.  This  chief  took  his  name,  "One 
Horn,"  from  a  little  shell  which  he  wore  always  on  his  neck 
This  shell  had  descended  to  him  from  his  father,  and  he  said 
"he  valued  it  more  than  anything  which  he  possessed:  afford- 
ing a  striking  instance  of  the  living  affection  which  these 
people  often  cherish  for  the  dead,  inasmuch  as  he  chose  to 


carry  this  name  through  life  in  preference  to  many  others  and 
more  honorable  ones  he  had  a  right  to  have  taken  from  differ- 
ent battles  and  exploits  of  his  extraordinary  life."  He  was  the 
fleetest  man  in  the  tribe;  "could  run  down  a  buffalo,  which  he 
had  often  done  on  his  own  legs,  and  drive  his  arrow  to  the 

This  chief  came  to  his  death,  several  years  later,  in  a  tragic 
way.  He  had  been  in  some  way  the  accidental  cause  of  the 
death  of  his  only  son — a  very  fine  youth — and  so  great  was 
the  anguish  of  his  mind  at  times  that  he  became  insane.  In 
one  of  these  moods  he  mounted  his  favorite  war-horse,  with 
his  bow  and  arrows  in  his  hand,  and  dashed  off  at  full  speed 
upon  the  prairies,  repeating  the  most  solemn  oath  that  he 
would  slay  the  first  living  thing  that  fell  in  his  way,  be  it  man 
or  beast,  friend  or  foe.  No  one  dared  follow  him,  and  after 
he  had  been  absent  an  hour  or  two  his  horse  came  back  to  the 
village  with  two  arrows  in  its  body  covered  with  blood.  Fears 
of  the  most  serious  kind  were  now  entertained  for  the  fate  of 
the  chief,  and  a  party  of  warriors  immediately  mounted  their 
horses  and  retraced  the  animal's  tracks  to  the  place  of  the 
tragedy,  where  they  found  the  body  of  their  chief  horribly 
mangled  and  gored  by  a  buffalo-bull,  whose  carcass  was  stretch- 
ed by  the  side  of  him. 

A  close  examination  of  the  ground  was  then  made  by  the 
Indians,  who  ascertained  by  the  tracks  that  their  unfortunate 
chief,  under  his  unlucky  resolve,  had  met  a  buffalo-bull  in  the 
season  when  they  are  very  stubborn,  and  unwilling  to  run  from 
any  one,  and  had  incensed  the  animal  by  shooting  a  number  of 
arrows  into  him,  which  tad  brought  him  into  furious  combat 
The  chief  had  then  dismounted  and  turned  his  horse  loose,  hav- 
ing given  it  a  couple  of  arrows  from  his  bow,  which  sent  it 
home  at  full  speed,  and  then  had  thrown  away  his  bow  and 
quiver,  encountering  the  infuriated  animal  with  his  knife  alone, 
and  the  desperate  battle  had  resulted  in  the  death  of  both. 

THE  SIOUX.  143 

Many  of  the  bones  of  the  chief  were  broken,  and  his  huge  an- 
tagonist lay  dead  by  his  side,  weltering  in  blood  from  a  hun- 
dred wounds  made  by  the  chiefs  long  and  two-edged  knife. 

Had  the  provisions  of  these  first  treaties  been  fairly  and 
promptly  carried  out,  there  would  have  been  living  to-day 
among  the  citizens  of  Minnesota  thousands  of  Sioux  fami- 
lies, good  and  prosperous  farmers  and  mechanics,  whose  civ- 
ilization would  have  dated  back  to  the  treaty  of  Prairie  du 

In  looking  through  the  records  of  the  expenditures  of  the 
Indian  Bureau  for  the  six  years  following  this  treaty,  we  find 
no  mention  of  any  specific  provisions  for  the  Sioux  in  the  mat- 
ter of  education.  The  $3000  annually  which  the  treaty  prom- 
ised should  be  spent  "  on  account  of  the  children  of  the  said 
tribes  and  bands,"  is  set  down  as  expended  on  the  "  Choctaw 
Academy,"  which  was  in  Kentucky.  A  very  well  endowed  in- 
stitution that  must  have  been,  if  we  may  trust  to  the  fiscal  re- 
ports of  the  Indian  Bureau.  In  the  year  1836  there  were  set 
down  as  expended  on  this  academy :  On  account  of  the  Mi- 
amis,  $2000 ;  the  Pottawattomies,  $5000 ;  the  Sacs,  Foxes,  and 
others,  $3000 ;  the  Choctaws,  $10,000 ;  the  Creeks,  east,  $3000 ; 
the  Cherokees,  west,  $2000;  the  Florida  Indians,  $1000;  the 
Quapaws,  $1000 ;  the  Chickasaws,  $3000 ;  the  Creeks,  $1000  : 
being  a  total  of  $31,000. 

There  were  in  this  year  one  hundred  and  fifty-six  pupils  at 
the  Choctaw  Academy,  sixteen  of  them  being  from  the  Sacs, 
Foxes,  Sioux,  and  others  represented  in  the  Treaty  of  Prairie 
du  Chien  of  1830.  For  the  education  of  these  sixteen  children, 
therefore,  these  tribes  paid  $3000  a  year.  The  Miamis  paid 
more  in  proportion,  having  but  four  youths  at  school,  and 
$2000  a  year  charged  to  them.  The  Pottawattomies,  on  a 
treaty  provision  of  $5000,  educated  twenty. 

In  1836  Congress  appropriated  $2000  "for  the  purpose  of 
extinguishing  the  Indian  title  between  the  State  of  Missouri 


and  the  Missouri  River.  The  land  owned  here  by  the  Indians 
was  a  long,  narrow  belt  of  country,  separated  from  the  rest  of 
the  Indian  country  by  the  Missouri  Siver.  The  importance  of 
it  to  the  State  of  Missouri  was  evident — an  "  obvious  conven* 
ience  and  necessity."  The  citizens  of  Missouri  made  represen- 
tations to  this  effect ;  and  though  the  President  is  said  to  have 
been  "  unwilling  to  assent,  as  it  would  be  in  disregard  of  the 
guarantee  given  to  the  Indians  in  the  Treaty  of  Prairie  du 
Chien,  and  might  be  considered  by  them  as  the  first  step  in 
•  a  series  of  efforts  to  obtain  possession  of  their  new  country," 
he  nevertheless  consented  that  the  question  of  such  a  cession 
should  be  submitted  to  them.  Accordingly,  negotiations  were 
opened,  and  nearly  all  the  Indians  who  had  rights  in  these 
lands,  "  seeing  that  from  their  local  position  they  could  never 
be  made  available  for  Indian  purposes,"  relinquished  them.* 

In  1837  the  Government  invited  deputations  of  chiefs  from 
many  of  the  principal  tribes  to  come  to  Washington.  It  was 
"believed  to  be  important  to  exhibit"  to  them  "the  strength 
of  the  nation  they  would  have  to  contend  with"  if  they  vent- 
ured to  attack  our  borders,  "  and  at  the  same  time  to  impress 
upon  them  the  advantages  which  flow  from  civilization." 
Among  these  chiefs  came  thirty  chiefs  and  headmen  of  the 
Sioux ;  and,  being  duly  "  impressed,"  as  was  most  natural,  con- 
cluded treaties  by  which  they  ceded  to  the  United  States  "  all 
their  land  east  of  the  Mississippi  River,  and  all  their  islands  in 
the  same."  These  chiefs  all  belonged  to  the  Medawakanton 
band,  "  community  of  the  Mysterious  Lakes." 

The  price  of  this  cession  was  $300,000,  to  be  invested  for 
them,  and  the  interest  upon  this  sum,  at  five  per  cent.,  to  be 
paid  to  them  "annually  forever;"  $110,000  to  be  distributed 
among  the  persons  of  mixed  blood  in  the  tribe;  $90,000  to  bo 

*  For  this  relinquishment  the  Government  gave  to  the  Lower  Sioux  pre& 
cuts  to  the  amount  of  $400,  and  to  the  upper  bands  $530  in  goods. 

THE   SIOUX.  145 

devoted  to  paying  the  just  debts  of  the  tribe ;  §8230  to  be  ex- 
pended annually  for  twenty  years  in  stock,  implements,  on  phy- 
sicians, farmers,  blacksmiths,  etc. ;  $10,000  worth  of  tools,  cat- 
tle, etc.,  to  be  given  to  them  immediately,  "  to  enable  them  to 
break  up  and  improve  their  lands ;"  $5300  to  be  expended  an- 
nually for  twenty  years  in  food  for  them,  "  to  be  delivered  at 
the  expense  of  the  United  States ;"  $6000  worth  of  goods  to 
be  given  to  them  on  their  arrival  at  St.  Louis. 

In  1838  the  Indian  Bureau  reports  that  all  the  stipulations 
of  this  treaty  have  been  complied  with,  "  except  those  which 
appropriate  $8230  to  be  expended  annually  in  the  purchase  of 
medicines,  agricultural  implements,  and  stock ;  and  for  the  sup- 
port of  a  physician,  farmers,  and  blacksmiths,"  and  "  bind  the 
United  States  to  supply  these  Sioux  as  soon  as  practicable  with 
agricultural  implements,  tools,  cattle,  and  such  other  articles  as 
may  be  useful  to  them,  to  an  amount  not  exceeding  $10,000, 
to  enable  them  to  break  up  and  improve  their  lands."  The 
fulfilment  or  non-fulfilment  of  these  stipulations  has  been  left 
to  the  discretion  of  the  agent;  and  the  agent  writes  that  it 
"must  be  obvious  to  any  one  that  a  general  personal  inter- 
course" on  his  part  "is  impracticable,"  and  that  "his  interviews 
with  many  of  the  tribes  must  result  from  casualty  and  accident." 
This  was  undoubtedly  true ;  but  it  did  not,  in  all  probability, 
occur  to  the  Indians  that  it  was  a  good  and  sufficient  reason 
for  their  not  receiving  the  $18,000  worth  of  goods  promised. 

Five  thousand  seven  hundred  and  eighty-nine  dollars  were 
expended  the  next  year  under  this  provision  of  the  treaty,  and 
a  few  Indians,  who  "all  labored  with  the  ioe,"  raised  their 
own  crops  without  assistance.  Six  thousand  bushels  of  corn 
in  all  were  housed  for  the  winter ;  but  the  experiment  of  turn- 
ing hunters  into  farmers  in  one  year  was  thought  not  to  be,  on 
the  whole,  an  encouraging  one.  The  "  peculiar  habits  of  indo- 
lence, and  total  disregard  and  want  of  knowledge  of  the  value 
and  uses  of  time  and  property,"  the  agent  says,  "  almost  f orbW 


hope."  A  more  reasonable  view  of  the  situation  would  have 
seen  in  it  very  great  hope.  That  out  of  five  hundred  warriors 
a  few  score  should  have  been  already  found  willing  to  work 
was  most  reassuring,  and  promised  well  for  the  future  of  the 

For  the  next  ten  years  affairs  went  on  badly  with  the  Sioux  ; 
they  were  continually  attacked  by  the  Chippewas,  Ottawas,  and 
others,  and  continually  retaliated.  The  authorities  took  a  sen- 
sible view  of  this  state  of  things,  as  being  the  easiest  way  of 
securing  the  safety  of  the  whites.  "  So  long  as  they  (the  In- 
dians) are  at  war  with  each  other  they  will  not  feel  a  disposi- 
tion to  disturb  the  peace  and  safety  of  our  exposed  frontier  set- 
tlements," wrote  Governor  Dodge,  in  1840. 

Whiskey  traders  flocked  faster  and  faster  into  the  neighbor- 
hood ;  fur  traders,  also,  found  it  much  more  for  their  interest 
to  trade  with  drunken  Indians  than  with  sober  ones,  and  the 
Sioux  grew  rapidly  demoralized.  Their  annuities  were  in  ar- 
rears ;  yet  this  almost  seemed  less  a  misfortune  than  a  blessing, 
since  both  money,  goods,  and  provisions  were  so  soon  squan- 
dered for  whiskey. 

In  1842  several  of  the  bands  were  reduced  to  a  state  of  semi- 
starvation  by  the  failure  of  corn  crops,  and  also  by  the  failure 
of  the  Senate  to  ratify  a  treaty  they  had  made  with  Governor 
Doty  in  1841.*  Depending  on  the  annuities  promised  in  this 
treaty,  they  had  neglected  to  make  their  usual  provisions  for 
the  winter.  Frosts,  which  came  in  June,  and  drought,  which 
followed  in  July,  combined  to  ruin  their  crops.  For  several 
years  the  water  had  been  rapidly  decreasing  in  all  the  lakes 
and  streams  north-west  of  Traverse  de  Sioux:  the  musk-rat 
ponds,  from  which  the  Indians  used  to  derive  considerable 
revenue,  had  dried  up,  and  the  musk-rats  had  gone,  nobody 
knew  where;  the  beaver,  otter,  and  other  furry  creatures  had 

*  Never  ratified. 

THE   SIOUX.  147 

been  hunted  down  till  they  were  hard  to  find ;  the  buffalo  had 
long  since  been  driven  to  new  fields,  far  distant.  Many  of  the 
Indians  were  too  poor  to  own  horses  on  which  to  hunt.  They 
were  two  hundred  miles  from  the  nearest  place  where  corn 
could  be  obtained,  even  if  they  had  money  to  pay  for  it.  Ex- 
cept for  some  assistance  from  the  Government,  they  would 
have  died  by  hundreds  in  the  winter  of  this  year. 

In  1849  the  "needs"  of  the  white  settlers  on  the  east  side 
of  the  Mississippi  made  it  imperative  that  the  Sioux  should  be 
again  removed  from  their  lands.  "  The  desirable  portions  of 
Minnesota  east  of  the  Mississippi  were  already  so  occupied  by 
a  white  population  as  to  seem  to  render  it  absolutely  necessary 
to  obtain  without  delay  a  cession  from  the  Indians  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river,  for  the  accommodation  of  our  citizens  emi- 
grating to  that  quarter,  a  large"  portion  of  whom  would  prob- 
ably be  compelled  to  precipitate  themselves  on  that  side  of  the 

Commissioners  were  accordingly  sent  to  treat  with  the  In- 
dians owning  these  desired  lands.  In  the  instructions  given 
to  these  commissioners  there  are  some  notable  sentences: 
"Though  the  proposed  purchase  is  estimated  to  contain  some 
twenty  millions  of  acres,  and  some  of  it  no  doubt  of  excellent 
quality,"  there  are  "  sound  reasons  why  it  is  comparatively  val- 
ueless to  the  Indians,  and  a  large  price  should  not  be  paid  for 
it."  Alive  to  the  apparent  absurdity  of  the  statement  that 
lands  which  are  "  absolutely  necessary  "  for  white  farmers  are 
"comparatively  valueless"  to  Indians  whom  the  Government 
is  theoretically  making  every  effort  to  train  into  farmers,  and 
who  have  for  the  last  ten  years  made  appreciable  progress  in 
that  direction,  the  commissioner  adds,  "With  respect  to  its  be- 
ing valuable  to  the  United  States,  it  is  more  so  for  the  purpose 
of  making  room  for  our  emigrating  citizens  than  for  any  other ; 
and  only  a  small  part  of  it  is  now  actually  necessary  for  that 
object.  *  *  *  The  extent  of  the  proposed  cession  should  be  no 


criterion  of  the  amount  that  should  be  paid  for  it.  On  a  full 
consideration  of  the  whole  matter,  it  is  the  opinion  of  this  of- 
fice that  from  two  to  two  and  a  half  cents  an  acre  would  be  an 
ample  equivalent  for  it."  Some  discretion  is  left  to  the  com- 
missioners as  to  giving  more  than  this  if  the  Indians  are  "  not 
satisfied ;"  but  any  such  increase  of  price  must  be  "  based  on 
such  evidence  and  information  as  shall  fully  satisfy  the  Pres- 
ident and  Senate."* 

Beading  farther  on  in  these  instructions,  we  come  at  last  to 
the  real  secret  of  this  apparent  niggardliness  on  the  part  of  the 
Government.  It  is  not  selfishness  at  all ;  it  is  the  purest  of 
philanthropy.  The  Government  has  all  along  been  suffering 
in  mind  from  two  conflicting  desires — "  the  desire  to  give  these 
Indians  an  equivalent  for  their  possessions,"  and,  on  the  other 
hand,  "  the  well-ascertained  fact  that  no  greater  curse  can  be 
inflicted  on  a  tribe  so  little  civilized  as  the  Sioux  than  to  have 
large  sums  of  money  coming  to  them  as  annuities."  *  *  *  On 
the  whole,  the  commissioner  says  that  we  are  called  on, "  as  a 
matter  of  humanity  and  duty  toward  this  helpless  race,  to  make 
every  exertion  in  our  power  not  to  place  much  money  at  their 
discretion."  The  Government  is  beginning  very  well  in  this  di- 
rection, it  must  be  admitted,  when  it  proposes  to  pay  for  Mis- 
sissippi Valley  lands  in  Minnesota  only  two  and  a  half  cents  per 
acre.  "  Humanity  and  duty  "  allied  could  hardly  do  more  at 
one  stroke  than  that. 

"We  cannot  ascribe  to  the  same  philanthropy,  however,  the 
withholding  from  1837  to  1850  the  $3000  a  year  which  the 
treaty  of  1837  provided  should  be  expended  "  annually  "  as  the 
President  might  direct,  and  which  was  not  expended  at  all,  be- 
cause President  after  President  directed  that  it  should  be  ap- 

*  "Chrysostom  was  of  opinion,  and  not  without  reason,  that,  in  contracts, 
as  often  as  we  strive  earnestly  to  buy  anything  for  less  than  it  is  worth, 
or  to  have  more  than  our  just  measure  or  weight,  there  was  in  that  fact  a 
kind  of  theft."— GROTITJS  on  Contracts. 

THB  SIOUX.  149 

plied  to  educational  purposes ;  and  there  being  no  evident  and 
easy  way  of  expending  it  in  that  manner,  it  was  allowed  to 
accumulate,  until  in  1850  it  amounted,  according  to  the  report 
of  Governor  Ramsey,  of  Minnesota,  to  $50,000.  The  governor 
also  thinks  better  than  the  United  States  Government  does  of 
the  country  to  be  relinquished  this  year  by  the  Sioux.  He 
says  that  it  will  be  "  settled  with  great  rapidity,  possessing  as 
it  does  from  its  situation  considerable  prospective  commercial 
as  well  as  agricultural  advantages."  It  was  evidently  very 
cheap  at  two  and  a  half  cents  an  acre. 

In  this  same  code  of  instructions  by  the  Indian  Bureau  there 
is  a  record  of  another  instance  of  the  Government's  disregard 
of  treaty  stipulations.  At  the  time  of  the  treaty  of  Prairie  du 
Chien,  in  18  50,  the  Sioux  chiefs  had  requested  that  a  certain 
tract  be  set  apart  and  bestowed  upon  the  half-breeds  of  their 
nation.  This  was  provided  for  in  the  ninth  Article  of  that 
treaty ;  but  the  Government  ref  used  to  give  to  the  half-breeds 
any  title  to  this  land,  except  "  in  the  same  manner  as  other  In- 
dian titles  are  held."  It  was  agreed,  however,  that  the  Presi- 
dent might  "  assign  to  any  of  said  half-breeds,  to  be  held  by 
him  or  them  in  fee-simple,  any  portion  of  said  tract  not  exceed- 
ing a  section  of  six  hundred  and  forty  acres  to  an  individual" 
This  tract  of  land  was  known  as  the  "  Half-breed  Reservation 
on  Lake  Tepin." 

The  half-breeds  had  made  almost  unintermitting  efforts  to 
have  these  assignments  made,  but  the  Government  had  as  con* 
stantly  refused  to  do  it.  The  Indian  Bureau  now  assigns  two 
reasons  why  this  treaty  stipulation  was  never  fulfilled:  1st, 
that  "  the  half-breeds,  or  most  of  them,  would  be  speculated 
upon  by  designing  persons,  and  cheated  out  of  their  reserva- 
tions ;"  2d,  that, "  on  account  of  the  quality  of  the  lands,  some 
would  necessarily  have  much  better  reservations  than  others, 
which  would  engender  dissatisfaction  and  heart-burning  among 
themselves  as  well  as  against  the  United  States."  The  Bureau 


felicitates  itself  that  "the  only  title  they  now  have  to  this 
land,  therefore,  is  that  by  which  other  Indians  hold  their  lands, 
viz.,  the  occupant  or  usufruct  right,  and  this  they  enjoy  by  the 
permission  of  the  United  States."  Such  being  the  case,  and 
as  the  Government  would  probably  never  find  it  expedient  and 
advisable  to  make  the  assignment  referred  to,  this  tract,  what- 
ever may  be  the  character  of  the  land,  must  be  and  would  con- 
tinue comparatively  worthless  to  them. 

Nevertheless,  it  appears  that  in  1841  one  of  the  three  trea- 
ties made  with  the  Sioux,  but  not  ratified,  was  with  these  very 
half-breeds  for  this  same  "valueless"  tract  of  384,000  acres  of 
land ;  that  they  were  to  be  paid  $200,000  for  it,  and  also  to  be 
paid  for  all  the  improvements  they  had  made  on  it ;  and  that 
the  treaty  commissioners  are  still  instructed  "  to  allow  them  for 
it  now  whatever  sum  the  commissioners  deem  it  to  be  "  fairly 
worth  ;  "  under  no  circumstances,"  however,  "  to  exceed  the 
sum  stipulated  in  1841."  Putting  this  all  into  plain  English, 
it  simply  means  that  in  1830  the  Government  promised  to  let 
a  band  of  men  take  out  tracts  of  land  in  fee-simple,  and  settle 
down  like  other  men  on  their  homesteads ;  that  for  ten  years 
the  men  begged  to  do  so,  and  were  refused ;  that  at  the  end  of 
ten  years,  thinking  there  was  no  hope  of  anything  better,  they 
agreed  to  sell  the  whole  tract  back  to  the  Government  for 
$200,000 ;  that  this  bargain,  also,  the  Government  did  not  ful- 
fil (the  treaties  never  being  ratified),  and  nine  years  later  was 
found  congratulating  itself  on  the  fact  that,  by  reason  of  all 
these  unfulfilled  agreements,  the  land  was  still "  held  only  in  the 
same  manner  as  other  Indian  titles  are  held  " — i.  e.,  not "  held  " 
at  all — only  used  on  sufferance  of  the  Government,  and  could  be 
taken  possession  of  at  any  time  at  the  Government's  pleasure. 
(This  matter  was  supposed  to  be  finally  settled  in  1854  by  a 
law  of  Congress;  but  in  1856  the  thing  appears  to  have  been 
still  unsettled.  A  commission  had  been  sent  out  to  investigate 
it,  and  the  report  was  that  "the  subject  has  been  one  of  some 

THE  SIOUX.  151 

difficulty  and  intricacy;  but  the  final  report  of  the  commis- 
sioners  has  just  been  received,  and  steps  will  be  taken  at  once 
to  cause  the  scrip  to  issue  to  the  parties  entitled  thereto.") 

A  little  farther  on  in  this  same  notable  document  is  a  men- 
tion of  another  tract,  of  which  it  is  now  "  desirable  to  extin- 
guish the  title,"  This  was  set  apart  by  the  tenth  Article  of 
that  same  old  treaty  for  the  half-breeds  of  the  Oniahas,  Otoes, 
lowas,  and  Yankton  and  Santee  Sioux.  This  contains  about 
143,000  acres,  but  is  "  supposed  to  be  of  much  less  value  than 
that  on  Lake  Tepin  :"  much  less  value  than  "  valueless ;"  but 
the  "  amount  to  be  paid  for  it  is  left  to  the  discretion  "  of  the 

At  this  time  the  bands  of  the  Medewakanton  Sioux  were  oc- 
cupying a  tract  of  over  two  hundred  miles  along  the  west  shore 
of  the  Mississippi,  reaching  also  some  twenty-five  miles  up  the 
St.  Peter's.  The  Yanktons,  Santees,  and  other  bands  lived  high 
up  the  St.  Peter's,  reaching  over  into  the  lands  west  of  the  Mis- 
souri, out  of  reach  of  ordinary  facilities  of  intercourse.  These 
bands  were  often  in  great  distress  for  food,  owing  to  the  failure 
of  the  buffalo.  They  never  lost  an  occasion  to  send  imploring 
messages  to  the  Great  Father,  urging  him  to  help  them.  They 
particularly  ask  for  hoes,  that  they  may  plant  corn.  In  his  re- 
port for  1850  the  superintendent  of  the  territory  embracing 
these  Indians  says :  "  The  views  of  most  of  those  who  have 
lived  the  longest  among  the  Indians  agree  in  one  respect — that 
is,  that  no  great  or  beneficial  change  can  take  place  in  their 
condition  until  the  General  Government  has  made  them  amena- 
ble to  local  laws — laws  which  will  punish  the  evil-disposed, 
and  secure  the  industrious  in  their  property  and  individual 

Superintendents,  agents,  commissioners,  secretaries,  all  re- 
iteratedly  recommending  this  one  simple  and  necessary  step 
toward  civilization — the  Indians  themselves  by  hundreds  im- 
ploring for  titles  to  their  farms,  or  at  least  "hoes"— why  did 


tlic  United  States  Government  keep  on  aiul  on  in  its  obstinate 
way,  feeding  the  Indian  in  gross  and  reckless  improvidence 
with  one  hand,  plundering  him  with  the  other,  and  holding 
him  steadily  down  at  the  level  of  his  own  barbarism  1  Nay, 
forcing  him  below  it  by  the  newly  added  vices  of  gambling 
and  drunkenness,  and  yet  all  the  while  boasting  of  its  desire  to 
enlighten,  instruct,  and  civilize  him.  It  is  as  inexplicable  as  it 
is  infamous :  a  phenomenal  thing  in  the  history  of  the  world. 

In  the  summer  of  1851  the  desired  treaties  were  made,  the 
upper  and  lower  bands  of  Sioux  being  treated  with  separately 
at  Traverse  de  Sioux  and  at  Mendota.  The  upper  bands  were 
soon  disposed  of,  though  "some  few  of  them,  having  been 
taught  to  read,"  had  become  impressed  with  the  idea  that  their 
country  was  of  immense  value,  and  at  first  demanded  six  mill- 
ion dollars  for  the  lands  to  be  ceded.  The  treaty  with  the 
lower  bands — the  Medawakantons  and  Wahpacootas — was  "ex- 
ceedingly difficult  of  attainment"  on  account  of,  firstly,  "their 
proximity  to  the  flourishing  settlements  on  the  east  side  of  the 
Mississippi  producing  necessarily  frequent  contact  with  the 
whites,  whose  ideas  of  the  great  value  of  the  country  had  been 
imparted  to  these  Indians ;  secondly,  their  great  experience  in 
Indian  diplomacy,  being  in  the  enjoyment  already  of  liberal 
annuities  under  former  stipulations" — all  these  things  ren- 
dered them  as  "  indifferent  to  the  making  of  another  treaty  at 
present  as  the  whites  on  their  borders  were  anxious  that  their 
lands  should  he  acquired."  In  consequence  of  this  indomita- 
ble common-sense  on  the  part  of  the  Indians  the  sessions  of  the 
commissioners  were  tedious  and  long ;  not  until  a  month  had 
passed  did  they  prevail  on  these  Indians  to  sign  away  the  cov- 
eted landsr"  the  garden-spot  of  the  Mississippi  Valley,"  and  they 
were  obliged  to  more  than  treble  the  number  of  cents  per  acre 
which  they  had  been  instructed  to  pay.  For  thirty-five  mill- 
ions of  acres  of  hind  they  agreed  to  pay  nominally  $3,075,000, 
which  would  be  between  eight  and  nine  cents  an  acre.  But  as 

THE   SIOUX.  153 

$2,500,000  was  to  be  held  in  trust,  and  only  the  interest  at 
five  per  cent,  to  be  paid  to  the  Indians,  and  this  only  for  the 
term  of  fifty  years,  at  which  time  the  principal  was  to  revert 
to  the  Government,  it  will  be  easily  reckoned  that  the  Indians 
would  receive,  all  told,  only  about  six  and  one-quarter  cents  an 
acre.  And  taking  into  account  the  great  value  of  the  relin- 
quished lands,  and  the  price  the  Government  would  undoubt- 
edly obtain  for  them,  it  will  be  readily  conceded  that  Govern- 
or Ramsey  was  not  too  sanguine  when  he  stated,  in  his  re- 
port to  the  Interior  Department,  that  the  "  actual  cost  to  the 
Government  of  this  magnificent  purchase  is  only  the  sum  paid 
in  hand"  ($575,000). 

The  governor  says  that  it  was  "  by  no  means  the  purpose  " 
of  the  commission  "to  act  other  than  justly  and  generously 
toward  the  Indians ;"  that  "  a  continuation  of  the  payment  of 
large  sums  of  interest  annually  would  do  them  no  further 
good"  after  fifty  years  had  expired,  and  would  be  "inconsist- 
ent with  sound  governmental  policy."  He  says  that  the  Da- 
kota nation,  although  warlike,  is  "friendly  to  the  whites," 
and  that  it  may  be  reasonably  expected  that,  "  by  a  judicious 
expenditure  of  the  civilization  and  improvement  funds  provided 
for  in  these  treaties,"  they  will  soon  take  the  lead  "  in  agri- 
culture and  other  industrial  pursuits." 

One  of  the  provisions  of  this  treaty  forbade  the  introduction 
of  ardent  spirits  into  the  new  reservation.  This  was  put  in  in 
accordance  with  the  "  earnest  desire  "  of  the  chiefs,  who  request- 
ed that  "  some  stringent  measures  should  be  taken  by  the  Gov- 
ernment to  exclude  all  kinds  of  liquors  from  their  new  home." 

By  this  treaty  the  four  great  bands  of  Minnesota  Sioux  were 
all  to  be  "  consolidated  together  on  one  reservation  in  the  up- 
per part  of  the  Mississippi  Valley."  This  region  was  thought  to 
be  "sufficiently  remote  to  guarantee"  them  against  any  press- 
ure from  the  white  population  for  many  years  to  come.  Farms 
were  to  be  opened  for  them,  mills  and  schools  to  be  established, 


and  dwelling-houses  erected.  They  were  to  have  now  a  chance 
to  own  "  that  domestic  country  called  home,  with  all  the  living 
sympathies  and  all  the  future  hopes  and  projects  which  people 
it."  From  this  time  "  a  new  era  was  to  be  dated  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  Dakotas :  an  era  full  of  brilliant  promise."  The 
tract  of  territory  relinquished  by  them  was  "  larger  than  the 
State  of  New  York,  fertile  and  beautiful  beyond  description," 
far  the  best  part  of  Minnesota.  It  is  "  so  far  diversified  in  natu- 
ral advantages  that  its  productive  powers  may  be  considered 
almost  inexhaustible.  *  *  *  Probably  no  tract  on  the  surface  of 
the  globe  is  equally  well  watered.  *  *  *  A  large  part  is  rich 
arable  land ;  portions  are  of  unsurpassed  fertility,  and  eminent- 
ly adapted  to  the  production  in  incalculable  quantities  of  the 
cereal  grains.  The  boundless  plains  present  inexhaustible  fields 
of  pasturage,  and  the  river  bottoms  are  richer  than  the  banks 
of  the  Nile.  In  the  bowels  of  the  earth  there  is  every  indica- 
tion of  extensive  mineral  fields." 

It  would  seem  that  the  assertion  made  only  a  few  lines  be- 
fore this  glowing  paragraph — "  to  the  Indians  themselves  the 
broad  regions  which  have  been  ceded  are  of  inconsiderable 
value" — could  not  be  true.  It  would  seem  that  for  eight  thou- 
sand people,  who,  according  to  this  same  writer,  "  have  outlived 
in  a  great  degree  the  means  of  subsistence  of  the  hunter 
state,"  and  must  very  soon  "resort  to  the  pursuits  of  agri- 
culture," nothing  could  have  been  more  fortunate  than  to  have 
owned  and  occupied  thirty-five  millions  of  acres  of  just  such 
land  as  this. 

They  appear  to  be  giving  already  some  evidence  of  a  dispo- 
sition to  turn  this  land  to  account.  The  reports  from  the  dif- 
ferent farms  and  schools  show  progress  in  farming  industry 
and  also  in  study.  The  farming  is  carried  on  with  difficulty, 
because  there  are  only  a  few  carts  and  ploughs,  which  must  'be 
used  in  turn  by  the  different  farmers,  and  therefore  must  come 
to  some  quite  too  late  to  be  of  use,  and  there  is  much  quarrel- 

THE  SIOUX.  155 

ling  among  them  owing  to  this  trouble.  Nevertheless,  these 
bands  have  raised  over  four  thousand  bushels  of  corn  in  the 
year.  There  is  also  a  great  opposition  to  the  schools,  because 
the  Indians  have  been  told  that  the  accumulated  fifty  thousand 
dollars  which  is  due  to  them  would  be  paid  to  them  in  cash  if 
it  were  not  for  the  schools.  Nevertheless,  education  is  slowly 
progressing ;  in  this  year  fifty  copies  of  a  little  missionary  pa- 
per called  The  Dakota  Friend  were  subscribed  for  in  the  one 
mission  station  of  Lac  qui  Parle,  and  sixty  scholars  were  enrolled 
at  the  school.  The  blacksmith  at  St.  Peter's  reports  that  he 
has  made  during  the  year  2506  pieces  of  one  sort  and  another 
for  the  Indians,  and  repaired  1430  more.  Evidently  a  com- 
munity keeping  blacksmiths  so  busy  as  this  are  by  no  means 
wholly  idle  themselves. 

It  is  worth  while  to  dwell  upon  these  seemingly  trivial  de- 
tails at  this  point  in  the  history  of  the  Minnesota  Sioux,  be- 
cause they  are  all  significant  to  mark  the  point  in  civilization 
they  had  already  reached,  and  the  disposition  they  had  already 
shown  toward  industry  before  they  were  obliged  to  submit  to 
their  first  great  removal.  Their  condition  at  the  end  of  two 
years  from  the  ratification  of  these  treaties  is  curtly  told  in  the 
official  reports  of  the  Indian  Bureau : 

"  The  present  situation  of  that  portion  of  the  Sioux  Indians 
parties  to  the  treaties  of  July  23d  and  August  5th,  1851,  is 
peculiar,  unfortunate,  and  to  them  must  prove  extremely  inju- 
rious. By  these  treaties  they  reluctantly  parted  with  a  very 
large  extent  of  valuable  country,  which  it  was  of  the  greatest 
importance  to  the  Government  to  acquire.  An  insignificant 
portion  of  it  near  its  western  boundary,  not  deemed  necessary 
or  desirable  for  a  white  population  for  many  years,  if  at  all, 
was  agreed  to  be  reserved  and  assigned  to  them  for  their  future 
residence.  The  Senate  amended  the  treaties,  striking  out  this 
provision,  allowing  ten  cents  an  acre  in  lieu  of  the  reservations, 
and  requiring  the  President,  with  the  assent  of  the  Indians,  if 


they  agreed  to  the  amendments,  to  assign  them  such  tracts  of 
country,  beyond  the  limits  of  that  ceded,  as  might  he  satisfacto- 
ry for  their  future  home.  To  the  amendments  was  appended 
a  proviso  *  that  the  President  may,  hy  the  consent  of  the  In- 
dians, vary  the  conditions  aforesaid,  if  deemed  expedient.' 
The  Indians  were  induced  to  agree  to  the  amendments ;  4  con- 
fiding in  the  justice,  liberality,  and  humanity  of  the  President 
and  the  Congress  of  the  United  States,  that  such  tracts  of 
country  will  be  set  apart  for  their  future  occupancy  and  home 
as  will  be  to  them  acceptable  and  satisfactory.'  Thus,  not 
only  was  the  assent  of  the  Indians  made  necessary  to  a  coun- 
try being  assigned  to  them  without  the  limits  of  that  ceded, 
but,  by  the  authority  given  to  the  President  to  vary  the'  condi- 
tions of  the  amendments  to  the  treaties,  he  was  empowered, 
with  the  consent  of  the  Indians,  to  place  them  upon  the  desig- 
nated reservations,  or  upon  any  other  portion  of  the  ceded  ter- 
ritory, 4  if  deemed  expedient.' 

"  To  avoid  collisions  and  difficulties  between  the  Indians  and 
the  white  population  which  rapidly  commenced  pouring  into 
the  ceded  country,  it  became  necessary  that  the  former  should 
vacate  at  least  a  large  portion  of  it  without  delay,  while  there 
was  neither  the  time  nor  the  means  to  make  the  requisite 
explorations  to  find  a  suitable  location  for  them  beyond  the 
limits  of  the  cession. 

"  Under  these  pressing  and  embarrassing  circumstances  the 
late  President  determined  to  permit  them  to  remain  five  years 
on  the  designated  reservations,  if  they  were  willing  to  accept 
this  alternative.  They  assented,  and  many  of  them  have  been 
already  removed.  However  unavoidable  this  arrangement,  it 
is  a  most  unfortunate  one.  The  Indians  are  fully  aware  of  its 
temporary  character,  and  of  the  uncertainty  as  to  their  future 
position,  and  will  consequently  be  disinclined  and  deterred 
from  any  efforts  to  make  themselves  comfortable  and  improve 
their  condition.  The  inevitable  result  must  be  that,  at  the  end 

THE   SIOUX.  157 

of  the  time  limited,  they  will  be  in  a  far  worse  condition  than 
now,  and  the  efforts  and  expenditures  of  years  to  infuse  into 
them  a  spirit  of  improvement  will  all  have  been  in  vain. 

"  The  large  investments  in  mills,  farms,  mechanic  shops,  and 
other  improvements  required  by  the  treaties  to  be  made  for 
their  benefit,  will  be  entirely  wasted  if  the  Indians  are  to  re- 
main on  their  reservations  only  during  the  prescribed  five  years. 
At  the  very  period  when  they  would  begin  to  reap  the  full 
advantage  of  these  beneficial  provisions  they  would  have  to 
remove.  Another  unfortunate  feature  of  this  arrangement,  if 
temporary,  is  that  the  Indians  will  have  expended  the  consid- 
erable sums  set  apart  in  the  treaties  for  the  expenses  of  their 
removal  to  a  permanent  home,  and  for  subsistence  until  they 
could  otherwise  provide  it,  leaving  nothing  for  these  important 
and  necessary  purposes  in  the  event  of  another  emigration. 
In  view  of  these  facts  and  considerations,  no  time  should  be 
lost  in  determining  upon  some  final  and  permanent  arrange- 
ment in  regard  to  them." 

The  Governor  of  Minnesota  also  writes  at  this  time :  "  The 
doubtful  tenure  by  which  this  tribe  hold  their  supposed  reser- 
vation is  well  understood  by  their  chiefs  and  headmen,  and  is 
beginning  to  give  deep  dissatisfaction,  and  throwing  daily  more 
and  more  obstacles  in  the  way  of  their  removal.  This  reserva- 
tion will  not  be  wanted  for  white  men  for  many  years. 

"There  is  not  wood,  or  timber,  or  coal  sufficient  for  the 
purposes  of  civilization,  except  immediately  on  the  St.  Peter's 
and  its  tributaries.  From  near  the  vicinity  of  the  new  agency 
there  commences  a  vast  prairie  of  more  than  one  hundred 
miles  in  extent,  entirely  destitute  of  timber,  and  I  feel  confi- 
dent that  we  never  shall  be  able  to  keep  any  very  large  num- 
ber of  them  at  their  new  agency,  or  near  there. 

"  Already  the  fund  set  apart  for  the  removal  and  subsistence 
the  first  year  of  the  Sissetons  and  Wah-pa-tons  has  been  ex- 
pended, and  all  their  provisions  eaten  up.  Seventeen  thousand 


dollars  and  upward  have  been  expended  by  Governor  Ramsey, 
and  one  year  in  advance  of  the  time  fixed  by  the  treaty  for 
their  removal.  This  expenditure  was  made  while  he  was  get- 
ting them  to  sign  the  Senate  amendments  to  the  treaty  of 
1851,  which  they  were  very  reluctant  to  do,  and  which  not 
more  than  half  the  chiefs  have  signed.  These  Indians  want 
the  Government  to  confirm  this  reservation  to  them.  I  would 
recommend  that  this  be  done  as  the  only  means  to  satisfy 
them,  and  humanity  demands  it." 

Here  is  a  picture  of  a  helpless  people !  Forced  to  give  up 
the  "  garden-spot  of  the  State,"  and  accept  in  its  stead  an  "  in- 
significant tract,  on  the  greater  part  of  which  there  is  not  wood, 
or  timber,  or  coal  sufficient  for  civilization ;"  and  then,  before 
the  ink  of  this  treaty  is  dry,  told  that  even  from  this  insignifi- 
cant tract  they  must  promise  to  move  at  the  end  of  five  years. 
What  words  could  characterize  such  a  transaction  between  man 
and  man  ?  There  is  not  a  country,  a  people,  a  community  in 
which  it  would  be  even  attempted !  Was  it  less  base,  or  more, 
being  between  a  strong  government  and  a  feeble  race  ? 

From  the  infamy  of  accomplishing  this  purpose  the  United 
States  was  saved.  Remonstrances,  and  still  more  the  resistance 
of  the  Indians,  prevailed,  and  in  1854  we  find  the  poor  creat- 
ures expressing  "  much  satisfaction  '*  that  the  President  has  de- 
creed that  they  are  to  remain  permanently  on  their  "  insignifi- 
cant tract" 

The  Upper  Missouri  Sioux  are  still  suffering  and  destitute ; 
a  few  of  them  cultivating  little  patches  of  ground,  depending 
chiefly  on  the  chase,  and  on  roots  and  wild  berries ;  when  these 
resources  fail  there  is  nothing  left  for  them  but  to  starve,  or  to 
commit  depredations  on  white  settlers.  Some  of  the  bands, 
nevertheless,  have  scrupulously  observed  the  stipulations  of  the 
Fort  Laramie  treaty  in  1851,  show  a  "strong  desire  for  im- 
provement," and  are  on  the  most  friendly  terms  with  the 
whites.  These  peaceable  and  friendly  bauds  are  much  dis- 

THE   SIOUX.  159 

tressed,  as  well  they  may  be,  at  the  reckless  course  pursued  by 
others  of  their  tribe.  They  welcome  the  presence  of  the  sol- 
diers sent  to  chastise  the  offenders,  and  gladly  render  all  the 
service  to  them  they  can,  even  against  their  relatives  and 

In  1855  it  is  stated  that  "various  causes  have  combined  to 
prevent  the  Minnesota  Sioux  from  deriving,  heretofore,  much 
substantial  benefit  from  the  very  liberal  provisions  of  the  trea- 
ties of  1851.  Until  after  the  reservations  were  permanently 
assured  to  the  Indians  (1854)  it  would  hare  been  highly  im- 
proper to  have  made  the  expenditures  for  permanent  improve- 
ments, and  since  then  the  affairs  of  the  agency  have  not  been 
free  from  confusion." 

"  Large  sums  of  money  have  been  expended  for  these  Sioux, 
but  they  have  been  indolent,  extravagant,  intemperate,  and  have 
wasted  their  means  without  improving,  or  seeming  to  desire  to 
improve  their  condition." 

Both  these  statements  are  made  in  grave  good  faith ;  cer- 
tainly without  any  consciousness  of  their  bearing  on  each  other. 
It  is  not  stated,  however,  what  specific  means  the  Sioux  could 
have  employed  "  to  improve  their  condition,"  had  they  "  de- 
sired "  to  do  so. 

The  summer  of  1857  was  one  which  will  long  be  remem- 
bered by  the  citizens  of  Minnesota.  It  was  opened  by  ter- 
rible massacres,  which  were  all  the  work  of  a  strolling  outcast 
band  of  Sioux,  not  more  than  fifteen  in  number.  They  had 
been  driven  out  of  their  tribe  some  sixteen  years  previous,  and 
had  been  ever  since  then  leading  a  wandering  and  marauding 
life.  The  beginning  of  the  trouble  was  a  trivial  difficulty  be- 
tween one  of  the  white  settlers  on  Rock  River  and  an  Indian. 
The  settler's  dog  bit  the  Indian,  and  the  Indian  shot  the  dog. 
For  this  the  white  settlers  beat  the  Indian  severely,  and  then 
went  to  the  camp  and  by  force  took  away  all  the  guns  of  the 
band.  This  was  at  a  season  of  the  year  when  to  be  without 


guns  meant  simply  to  be  without  food,  and  the  Indians  were 
reduced  at  once  to  a  condition  of  great  suffering.     By  some 
means  they  either  repossessed  themselves  of  their  guns  or  pro- 
cured others,  and,  attacking  the  settlement,  killed  all  the  in- 
habitants except  four  women,  whom  they  canicd  away  with 
them,  and  treated  with  the  utmost  barbarity.    The  inevitable 
results  of  such  horrors  followed.     The  thousands  of  peaceable 
Indians  in  Minnesota,  who  did  not  even  know  of  this  outrage, 
were  all  held  in  one  common  terror  and  hatred  by  the  general 
public ;  only  the  very  great  firmness  and  discretion  of  the  mili- 
tary officers  sent  to  deal  with  the  outbreak  saved  Minnesota 
from  a  general  uprising  and  attack  from  all  the  Sioux  bands, 
who  were  already  in  a  state  of  smouldering  discontent  by  rea- 
son of  the  non-payment  of  their  annuities.    However,  they 
obeyed  the  demands  of  the  Government  that  they  themselves 
should  pursue  this  offending  band,  and  either  capture  or  exter- 
minate it.     They  killed  four,  and  took  three  prisoners,  and 
then  returned  "  much  jaded  and  worn,"  and  said  they  could  do 
no  more  without  the  help  of  United  States  soldiers ;  and  that 
they  thought  they  had  now  done  enough  to  show  their  loyalty, 
and  to  deserve  the  payment  of  their  annuities.    One  of  the 
chiefs  said :  "  The  man  who  killed  white  people  did  not  belong 
to  us,  and  we  did  not  expect  to  be  called  to  account  for  the 
people  of  another  band.    We  have  always  tried  to  do  as  our 
Great  Father  tells  us."    Another  said :  "  I  am  going  to  speak 
of  the  treaty.     For  fifty  years  we  were  to  be  paid  $50,000  per 
annum.     "We  were  also  promised  $300,000  that  we  have  not 
seen.    I  wish  to  say  to  my  Great  Father  we  were  promised 
these  things,  but  have  not  seen  them  yet.    Why  does  not  the 
Great  Father  do  as  he  promised  ?" 

These  hostilities  were  speedily  brought  to  an  end,  yet  the 
situation  was  by  no  means  reassuring  for  the  Indians.  But 
one  sentiment  seemed  to  inspire  the  whole  white  population, 
and  this  was  the  desire  to  exterminate  the  entire  Indian  race. 

THE   SIOUX.  161 

"For  the  present,"  writes  the  superintendent,  "it  is  equally 
important  to  protect  the  Indians  from  tlie  whites  as  the/  whites 
from  the  Indians ;"  and  this  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  all  the 
leading  bands  of  the  treaty  Sioux  had  contributed  warriors  to 
go  in  pursuit  of  the  murderers,  had  killed  or  captured  all  they 
could  find,  and  stood  ready  to  go  again  after  the  remaining 
eight,  if  the  United  States  troops  would  go  also  and  assist  them. 
Spite  of  the  exertions  of  one  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Lower  Sioux, 
"Little  Crow,"  who,  the  superintendent  says,  labored  with  him 
"  night  and  day  in  organizing  the  party,  riding  continually  be- 
tween the  lower  and  upper  agencies,"  so  that  they  "  scarcely 
slept "  till  the  war-party  had  set  out  on  the  track  of  the  mur- 
derers ;  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  whole  body  of  the  Sioux,  with- 
out exception,  "  received  the  inteDigence  with  as  much  indigna- 
tion and  disapprobation  as  the  whites  themselves,  and  did  their 
best  to  stand  clear  of  any  suspicion  of  or  connection  with  the 
affair — Spite  of  all  this,  they  were  in  continual  danger  of  being 
shot  at  sight  by  the  terrified  and  unreasoning  settlers.  One 
band,  under  the  chief  Sleepy  Eyes,  were  returning  to  their 
homes  from  a  hunt ;  and  while  they  were  "  wondering  what 
the  panic  among  the  whites  meant"  (they  having  heard  noth- 
ing of  the  massacre),  were  fired  into  by  some  of  the  militia 

The  next  day  a  white  settler  was  found  killed  near  that  spot 
— presumably  by  some  member  of  Sleepy  Eyes'  band.  This 
excitement  slowly  abated,  and  for  the  next  four  years  a  steady 
improvement  was  visible  in  the  Minnesota  Sioux.  Hundreds 
of  them  threw  aside  the  blanket — the  distinctive  badge  of  their 
wild  state ;  schools  were  well  attended,  and  farms  were  well 
tilled.  That  there  was  great  hostility  to  this  civilization,  on 
the  part  of  the  majority  of  the  tribe,  cannot  be  denied;  but 
that  was  only  natural — the  inevitable  protest  of  a  high-spirited 
and  proud  race  against  abandoning  all  its  race  distinctions. 
When  we  see  the  men  of  Lorraine,  or  of  Montenegro,  ready  to 


die  for  the  sake  merely  of  being  called  by  the  name  of  one 
power  rather  than  by  that  of  another,  we  find  it  heroic,  and 
give  them  our  sympathies ;  but  when  the  North  American  In- 
dian is  ready  to  die  rather  than  wear  the  clothes  and  follow 
the  ways  of  the  white  man,  we  feel  for  him  only  unqualified 
contempt,  and  see  in  his  instinct  nothing  more  than  a  barba- 
rian's incapacity  to  appreciate  civilization.  Is  this  just? 

In  1861  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs,  visiting  these 
Sioux,  reports :  "  I  was  much  surprised  to  find  so  many  of  the 
Sioux  Indians  wearing  the  garb  of  civilization,  many  of  them 
living  in  frame  or  brick  houses,  some  of  them  with  stables  or 
out-houses,  and  their  fields  indicating  considerable  knowledge 
of  agriculture."  Their  condition,  he  says,  affords  "  abundant 
evidence  of  what  may  be  accomplished  among  the  Sioux  In- 
dians by  steadily  adhering  to  a  uniform,  undeviating  policy. 

"  The  number  that  live  by  agricultural  pursuits  is  yet  small 
compared  with  the  whole ;  but  their  condition  is  so  much  better 
than  that  of  the  wild  Indian,  that  they,  too,  are  becoming  con- 
vinced that  it  is  the  better  way  to  live ;  and  many  are  coming 
in,  asking  to  have  their  hair  cut,  and  for  a  suit  of  clothes,  and 
to  be  located  on  a  piece  of  land  where  they  can  build  a  house 
and  fence  in  their  fields." 

Many  more  of  them  would  have  entered  on  the  agricultural 
life  had  the  Government  provided  ways  and  means  for  them  to 
do  so.  In  this  same  report  is  a  mention  of  one  settlement  of 
two  thousand  Indians  at  Big  Stone  Lake,  who  "have  been 
hitherto  almost  entirely  neglected.  These  people  complain 
that  they  have  lived  upon  promises  for  the  last  ten  years,  and 
are  really  of  opinion  that  white  men  never  perform  what  they 
promise.  Many  of  them  would  go  to  work  if  they  had  any 
reasonable  encouragement." 

The  annuities  are  still  in  arrears.  Every  branch  of  the  indus- 
tries and  improvements  attempted  suffers  for  want  of  the  prom- 
ised funds,  and  from  delays  in  payments  expected.  The  worst 


result,  however,  of  these  delays  in  the  fulfilment  of  treaty  stip< 
ulations  was  the  effect  on  the  Indians.  A  sense  of  wrong  in 
the  past  and  distrust  for  the  future  was  ever  deepening  in  their 
minds,  and  preparing  them  to  be  suddenly  thrown  by  any  small 
provocation  into  an  antagonism  and  hostility  grossly  dispropor- 
tionate to  the  apparent  cause.  This  was  the  condition  of  the 
Minnesota  Sioux  in  the  summer  of  1862.* 

The  record  of  the  massacres  of  that  summer  is  scarcely  equal- 
led in  the  history  of  Indian  wars.  Early  in  August  some  bands 
of  the  Upper  Sioux,  who  had  been  waiting  at  their  agency  near- 
ly two  months  for  their  annuity  payments,  and  had  been  suffer- 
ing greatly  for  food  during  that  time — so  much  so  that  "  they 
dug  up  roots  to  appease  their  hunger,  and  when  corn  was  turned 
out  to  them  they  devoured  it  uncooked,  like  wild  animals" — be- 
came desperate,  broke  into  the  Government  warehouse,  and  took 
some  of  the  provisions  stored  there.  This  was  the  real  begin- 
ning of  the  outbreak,  although  the  first  massacre  was  not  till 
the  13th,  When  that  began,  the  friendly  Indians  were  power- 
less to  resist — in  fact,  they  were  threatened  with  their  lives  if 
they  did  not  join.  Nevertheless,  some  of  them  rescued  whole 
families,  and  carried  them  to  places  of  safety ;  others  sheltered 
and  fed  women  and  children  in  their  own  lodges;  many  fled, 
leaving  all  their  possessions  behind — as  much  victims  of  the  out- 
break as  the  Minnesota  people  themselves.  For  three  days  the 
hostile  bands,  continually  re-enforced,  went  from  settlement  to 
settlement,  killing  and  plundering.  A  belt  of  country  nearly 
two  hundred-miles  in  length  and  about  fifty  in  width  was  en- 
tirely abandoned  by  the  population,  who  flocked  in  panic  to 
the  towns  and  forts.  Nearly  a  thousand  were  killed — men, 
women,  and  children — and  nameless  outrages  were  committed 
on  many.  Millions  of  dollars'  worth  of  property  were  de- 
stroyed. The  outbreak  was  quickly  quelled  by  military  forces 

*  See  Appendix,  Art.  VL 


and  a  large  number  of  Indians  captured.  Many  voluntarily 
surrendered,  bringing  with  them  over  two  hundred  whites  that 
they  had  taken  prisoners.  A  military  commission  tried  these 
Indians,  and  sentenced  over  three  hundred  to  be  hung.  All  but 
thirty-nine  were  reprieved  and  put  into  prison.  The  remainder 
were  moved  to  Dakota,  to  a  barren  desert,  where  for  three  years 
they  endured  sufferings  far  worse  than  death.  The  remainder 
escaped  to  the  Upper  Missouri  region  or  to  Canada.* 

Minnesota,  at  a  terrible  cost  to  herself  and  to  the  United 
States  Government,  was  at  last  free  from  the  presence  of 
Indians  within  her  borders — Indians  who  were  her  enemies 
only  because  they  had  been  treated  with  injustice  and  bad 

During  this  time  the  bands  of  Sioux  in  the  Upper  Missouri 
region  had  been  more  or  less  hostile,  and  military  force  in  con- 
tinual requisition  to  subdue  them.  Ee-enforced  by  the  Minne- 
sota refugees,  they  became  more  hostile  still,  and  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1863  were  in  almost  incessant  conflict.  In  1864  the 
Governor  of  Dakota  Territory  writes  to  the  Department  that 
the  war  is  spreading  into  Nebraska  and  Kansas,  and  that  if 
provision  is  not  made  for  the  loyal  treaty  Indians  in  that  re- 
gion before  long,  they  also  will  join  the  hostiles.  One  band  of 
the  Sioux — the  Yanktons — has  been  persistently  loyal,  and  ren- 
dered great  service  through  all  the  troubles.  Fifty  of  these 
Yankton  Sioux  had  been  organized  by  General  Sibley  into  a 
company  of  scouts,  and  had  proved  "  more  effective  than  twice 
the  number  of  white  soldiers."  The  only  cost  to  the  Govern- 
ment "  of  this  service  on  the  part  of  the  Yanktons  had  been 
fifty  suits  of  condemned  artillery  uniforms,  arms,  and  rations 
in  part  to  the  scouts  themselves." 

In  1865  the  Government,  having  spent  about  $40,000,000 
on  these  campaigns,  began  to  cast  about  for  cheaper,  if  not 

*  All  the  Winnebagoes  were  removed  from  Minnesota  at  the  same  time. 

THE   SIOUX.  105 

more  humane  methods,  and,  partly  at  the  instance  of  the  Gov- 
ernor of  Dakota,  who  knew  very  well  that  the  Indians  desired 
peace,  sent  out  a  commission  to  treat  with  them.  There  \vere 
now,  all  told,  some  14,000  Sioux  in  this  region,  nearly  2000 
being  the  refugees  from.  Minnesota. 

The  report  of  this  commission  is  full  of  significant  state- 
ments. There  seems  to  be  no  doubt  that  the  great  majority  of 
the  Indians  are  anxious  for  peace ;  but  they  are  afraid  to  meet 
the  agents  of  the  Government,  lest  they  be  in  some  way  be- 
trayed. Such  bands  as  are  represented,  however,  gladly  assent 
to  a  treaty  of  peace  and  good-will.  The  commissioners  speak 
with  great  feeling  of  the  condition  of  the  loyal  Yanktons.  "No 
improvements  have  been  made  on  their  lands,  and  the  commis- 
sioners were  obliged  to  issue  provisions  to  them  to  keep  them 
from  starving.  *  *  *  No  crops  met  the  eye,  nor  is  there  the 
semblance  of  a  school-house." 

Yet  by  Article  four  of  the  treaty  with  the  Yankton  Sioux 
the  United  States  Government  had  agreed  to  expend  $10,000 
in  erecting  a  suitable  building  or  buildings,  and  to  establish 
and  maintain  one  or  more"  normal  labor  schools;  and  it  is  to 
be  read  in  the  United  States  Statutes  at  Large  that  in  each  of 
the  years  1860,  1861,  1862,  and  1863,  Congress  appropriated 
$65,000,  as  per  treaty,  for  the  benefit  of  the  Yankton  Sioux. 

"With  the  exception  of  a  few  miserable  huts,  a  saw-mill, 
and  a  small  amount  of  land  enclosed,  there  are  few  vestiges  of 
improvement.  *  *  *  They  are  reduced  to  the  necessity  of  hunt- 
ing for  a  living,  and,  unless  soon  reassured  and  encouraged, 
they  will  be  driven  to  despair,  and  the  great  discontent  existing 
among  them  will  culminate  in  another  formidable  Indian 

Nine  treaties  were  concluded  by  this  commission  with  as 
many  different  bands  of  Sioux,  the  Indians  pledging  them- 
selves to  abstain  from  all  hostilities  with  each  other  and  with 
the  whites,  and  the  Government  agreeing  to  pay  to  the  Indians 


fifteen  dollars  a  head  per  annum,  and  to  all  who  will  settle 
down  to  farming  twenty-five  dollars  a  head. 

In  the  winter  follo\ving  these  treaties  all  these  Indians  faith- 
fully kept  their  promises,  in  spite  of  terrible  sufferings  from 
cold  and  from  lack  of  food.  Some  of  them  were  at  the  old 
Crow  Creek  Reservation  in  Dakota,  where  they  were  "  kept 
from  absolute  starvation  only  by  the  issue  to  them  of  such 
scanty  supplies  as  could  be  spared  from  the  stores  at  Fort 
Sully,  and  from  the  agency."  It  is  much  to  the  credit  of  these 
Indians  that,  in  spite  of  their  manifold  sufferings,  scarcely  a 
case  of  stealing  occurred  among  them,  they  being  determined 
to  keep  their  faith  to  the  Government 

"  They  will  run  like  chickens  to  gather  the  offal  from  the 
slop  buckets  that  are  carried  from  the  garrison  kitchens ;  while 
they  pass  a  pile  of  corn  and  hundreds  of  loose  cattle  without 
touching  a  thing,  except  when  told  they  may  gather  up  the 
grains  of  corn  from  the  ground  where  the  rats  in  their  depre- 
dations have  let  it  fall  from  the  sacks,"  says  the  report  of  one 
of  the  commissioners. 

In  the  summer  of  1865  still  further  treaties  were  concluded 
with  the  Indians  of  the  plains,  and  all  the  Sioux,  with  the  ex- 
ception of  those  in  the  British  possessions,  were  now  pledged 
to  peace.  This  summer  also  saw  the  first  recognition  on  the  part 
of  the  Government  of  its  flagrant  injustice  toward  the  friendly 
Minnesota  Sioux  who  were  moved  to  Crow  Creek,  Dakota,  at 
the  time  of  the  massacre.  There  were  nearly  one  thousand  of 
these — mostly  old  men,  women,  and  children — many  of  them 
the  widows  and  children  of  those  who  had  been  hung  or  were 
in  prison  at  Davenport.  For  three  years  they  had  been  "  quiet 
and  patient  in  their  sufferings." 

The  two  hundred  prisoners  in  Davenport  had  also  shown 
"an  excellent  disposition  and  entire  submission,"  although 
many  of  them  were  known  and  proved  to  have  been  "  abso- 
lutely guiltless  of  any  acts  of  hostility ;  and  not  only  this,  but 

THE  SIOUX.  167 

deserving  of  reward  for  the  rescue  of  \vliite  captives."  Cer- 
tificates, petitions,  and  letters  showing  these  facts  wore  for- 
warded from  Iowa  to  the  Department,  but  the  commissioner 
says,  in  his  report  for  1866,  that "  they  have  been  mislaid  in  their 
passage  through  the  various  departments,  and  cannot  be  found  T' 

There  was  still  another  class  of  these  Indians  deserving  of 
help  from  the  Government  —  some  two  hundred  and  fifty 
friendly  farmer  Indians,  who  were  living  in  1862  quietly  on 
their  farms,  "who  have  acted  as  scouts  for  the  Government; 
who  never  committed  any  acts  of  hostility,  nor  fled  with  those 
who  did  commit  them,"  and  have  still  remained  friendly 
through  these  four  years,  "  while  compelled  to  a  vagabond  life 
by  the  indiscriminate  confiscation  of  all  their  land  and  prop- 

"The  crops  belonging  to  these  farmer  Indians  were  valued 
at  $125,000,  and  they  had  large  herds  of  stock  of  all  kinds, 
fine  farms,  and  improvements.  The  United  States  troops  en- 
gaged in  suppressing  the  massacre,  also  the  prisoners  taken  by 
them — in  all,  some  3500  men — lived  for  fifty  days  on  this 

Strong  efforts  were  made  by  Bishop  Whipple  and  others  to 
obtain  from  the  Government  some  aid  for  these  friendly  In- 
dians, and  the  sum  of  $7500  was  appropriated  by  Congress 
for  that  purpose.  The  letter  of  Bishop  "Whipple,  who  was 
requested  to  report  on  the  division  of  this  sum,  is  so  eloquent 
a  summing  up  of  the  case  of  these  Indians,  that  it  ought  to 
be  placed  on  permanent  record  in  the  history  of  our  country. 
He  writes : 

"  There  is  positive  injustice  in  the  appropriation  of  so  mis- 
erable a  pittance.  *  *  *  A  much  larger  sum  would  not  pay  the 
amount  which  we  honestly  owe  these  men.  The  Government 
was  the  trustee  of  the  Upper  and  Lower  Sioux.  It  held  several 
millions  of  dollars  for  their  benefit — the  joint  property  of  the 
tribes.  These  friendly  Sioux  had  abandoned  their  wild  life, 


and  adopted  the  dress,  habits,  and  customs  of  civilization ;  and 
in  doing  this,  which  placed  them  in  open  opposition  to  the 
traditions  of  their  tribes,  they  were  pledged  the  protection  of 
the  Government.  By  a  mistaken  policy,  by  positive  neglect  to 
provide  a  government,  by  tbe  perversion  of  funds  due  them  for 
the  sale  of  one-half  their  reservations,  by  withholding  their 
annuities  until  two  months  after  they  were  due  (which  was 
caused  by  the  use  of  a  part  of  these  funds  for  claims),  by  per- 
mitting other  causes  of  dissatisfaction  to  go  on  unheeded,  we 
provoked  the  hostility  of  the  wild  Indians,  and  it  went  on 
until  it  ripened  in  massacre.  These  farmer  Indians  had  been 
pledged  a  patent  for  their  farms :  unless  we  violated  our  solemn 
pledge,  these  lands  were  theirs  by  a  title  as  valid  as  any  title 
could  be.  They  had  large  crops,  sufficient  to  support  General 
Sibley's  army  for  a  number  of  weeks.  They  lost  all  they  had 
— crops,  stock,  clothing,  furniture.  In  addition  to  this,  they 
were  deprived  of  their  share  in  these  annuities,  and  for  four 
years  have  lived  in  very  great  suffering.  You  can  judge 
whether  $5000  shall  be  deemed  a  just  reward*  for  the  brav- 
ery an4  fidelity  of  men  who,  at  the  risk  of  their  own  lives, 
were  instrumental  in  saving  white  captives,  and  maintained 
their  friendship  to  the  whites. 

"  I  submit  to  you,  sir,  and  through  you  hope  to  reach  all 
who  fear  God  and  love  justice,  whether  the  very  least  we  can 
do  for  all  the  friendly  Sioux  is  not  to  fulfil  the  pledges  we 
made  years  ago,  and  give  to  each  of  them  a  patent  of  eighty 
acres  of  land,  build  them  a  house,  and  provide  them  cattle, 
seeds,  and  implements  of  husbandry  ?" 

In  1866  all  these  Sioux  were  removed,  and,  in  spite  of  the 

*  Two  thousand  five  hundred  of  the  seven  thousand  five  hundred  dol- 
lars had  been  especially  set  aside  by  the  Government  (unjust  in  its  rewards 
as  in  its  punishments)  for  Chief  Other  Day,  who  was  really  less  deserv' 
ing  than  many  others. 

THE  SIOUX.  169 

protestations  of  tlie  Nebraska  citizens,  settled  on  reservations 
on  the  Niobrara  River,  in  Northern  Nebraska.  It  soon  becama 
evident  that  this  place  was  undesirable  for  a  reservation,  both 
on  account  of  its  previous  occupancy  by  the  whites  aud  scarci- 
ty of  timber. 

In  the  fall  they  removed  again  to  the  mouth  of  Bazile  Creek. 
Temporary  buildings  were  again  erected,  and  here  they  spent 
the  winters  of  1866  and  1867.  In  February  they  were  cheer- 
ed by  the  invitation  sent  their  chiefs  and  headmen  to  visit 
Washington.  They  went,  feeling  sure  that  they  should  get  a 
home  for  themselves  and  people.  "  All  they  got  was  a  prom- 
ise that  a  commission  should  be  sent  out  to  visit  them  the 
next  year."  They  were  told,  however,  to  move  to  Breckenridge, 
on  the  west  bank  of  the  Missouri,  plant  crops  there,  and  were 
promised  that,  if  they  liked  the  place,  they  should  have  it  "  se- 
cured to  them  as  a  permanent  home.*'  Accordingly,  the  "  agency 
buildings  "  were  once  more  removed,  and  two  hundred  acres  of 
land  were  planted.  Before  the  crops  were  harvested  the  com- 
mission arrived,  and  urged  the  Indians  to  move  farther  up 
the  Missouri.  The  Indians  being  averse  to  this,  however,  they 
were  allowed  to  remain,  and  told  that  if  they  would  cultivate 
the  soil  like  white  men — take  lands  in  severalty — the  Govern- 
ment would  assist  them.  The  Indians  gladly  consented  to  this, 
and  signed  a  treaty  to  that  effect.  But  in  1868  their  agent 
writes :  "  That  treaty  is  not  yet  ratified,  and,  instead  of  assist- 
ance to  open  farms,  their  appropriation  has  been  cut  down  one 
half.  After  paying  for  supplies  purchased  on  credit  last  year, 
it  is  entirely  insufficient  for  clothing  and  subsistence,  and 
leaves  nothing  for  opening  farms,  procuring  cattle,"  etc.  These 
Indians,  only  five  years  previous,  had  been  living  on  good 
farms,  and  had  $125,000  worth  of  stock,  implements,  etc.  No 
wonder  their  agent  writes :  "  Leave  them  without  a  home  a  few 
years  longer,  and  you  offer  strong  inducements  for  them  to  be 
come  idle  and  worthless." 


It  is  an  intricate  and  perplexing  task  to  attempt  now  to 
follow  the  history  of  the  different  bands  of  the  Sioux  tribe 
through  all  their  changes  of  location  and  affiliation — some  in 
Dakota,  some  in  Nebraska,  and  some  on  the  Upper  Arkansas 
•with  the  hostile  Cheyennes  and  Arapahoes — signing  treaties  one 
summer,  and  on  the  war-path  the  next — promised  a  home  in 
spring,  and  ordered  off  it  before  harvest — all  the  time  more 
and  more  hemmed  in  by  white  settlers,  and  more  and  more 
driven  out  of  their  buffalo  ranges  by  emigrations — liable  at  any 
time  to  have  bodies  of  United  States  soldiers  swoop  down  on 
them  and  punish  whole  bands  for  depredations  committed  by 
a  handful  of  men,  perhaps  of  a  totally  distinct  band — the  won- 
der is  not  that  some  of  them  were  hostile  and  vindictive,  but 
that  any  of  them  remained  peaceable  and  friendly.  Bandied 
about  from  civil  authorities  to  military — the  War  Department 
recommending  "  that  all  Indians  not  on  fixed  reservations  be 
considered  at  war,"  and  proceeded  against  accordingly,  and  the 
Interior  Department  neglecting  to  provide  them  with  "fixed 
reservations,"  or  to  define  or  enforce  the  boundaries  of  even 
their  temporary  reservations — tricked,  cheated  on  all  sides — 
starving  half  the  time — there  is  not  a  tribe  of  all  the  perse- 
cuted tribes  of  Indians  that  has  a  more  piteous  record  than  the 
Sioux.  Nevertheless,  we  find  many  of  the  bands,  in  1870,  ad- 
vancing in  civilization.  In  the  Yankton  band  nearly  one  hun- 
dred children  arc  in  school,  and  eight  hundred  acres  of  land 
are  under  cultivation.  The  Lower  Yanktons  arc  peaceful  and 
quiet,  although  they  are  near  the  Brules,  who  are  always  rov- 
ing and  hostile.  The  Sissctons  and  Wahpetons,  who  were  by 
a  treaty  of  1867  placed  on  reservations  in  Dakota,  arc  "indus- 
trious, and  fast  advancing  in  agricultural  pursuits."  Four 
schools  are  in  operation  among  them.  The  Yanktons  arc 
"  anxious  to  farm,  and  state  that  the  Government  has  promised 
to  assist  and  teach  them  to  farm  ;  that  they  are  and  have  been 
ready  for  some  time,  but  as  yet  the  agent  has  not  received  any 

THE  SIOUX.  171 

instructions  or  funds  to  permit  of  tlieir  accomplishing  their 

Two  events,  important  in  the  history  of  the  Sioux  tribe,  hap- 
pened in  1869  and  1870.  One  was  the  visit  of  a  delegation  of 
chiefs  and  headmen  from  several  of  the  bands,  under  the  loader- 
ship  of  the  chief  Red  Cloud,  to  Washington,  Philadelphia,  and 
New  York.  They  had  thus  an  opportunity  of  relating  all  their 
grievances,  and  of  receiving  the  Government's  declarations  of 
good  intentions  toward  them.  Eed  Cloud,  after  his  return  home, 
became  an  ardent  and  determined  advocate  of  peace  and  loyal- 
ty. The  other  was  the  withdrawal  of  a  portion  of  the  San  tee 
Sioux  from  their  band,  for  the  purpose  of  taking  up  farms  un- 
der the  Homestead  Act,  and  becoming  independent  citizens. 
The  story  of  this  experiment,  and  the  manner  in  which  it  was 
met  by  the  United  States  Government,  is  best  told  in  the  words 
of  Dr.  Williamson,  a  missionary,  who  had  lived  thirty-five  years 
among  them,  and  who  pleaded  thus  warmly  for  them  in  a  letter 
addressed  to  the  Department  in  the  summer  of  1870 :  "Several 
considerations  have  influenced  the  Dakotas  in  going  to  the  Big 
Sioux  River:  1st.  The  -soil  and  climate  are  more  similar  to 
that  to  which  they  have  been  accustomed  in  Minnesota,  their 
former  home,  than  is  that  of  their  reservation  on  the  Missouri ; 
2d.  Feeling  that  they  were  men  capable  of  sustaining  them- 
selves if  a  fair  opportunity  is  afforded  them,  they  felt  that  it 
was  degrading  to  live  as  sinecures  and  pensioners  dependent 
on  Government  for  food  and  clothing ;  3d.  And  chiefly  a  de- 
sire to  make  homes  for  their  families  where  they  could  be  sub- 
jected to,  and  protected  by,  the  laws  of  the  United  States,  the 
same  as  all  other  men  are.  This  they  thought  could  not  be  the 
case  on  their  reservation. 

"These  Sioux  were  parties  to  the  treaties  made  in  1851,  by 
which  they  and  other  bands  ceded  to  the  United  States  all  the 
best  settled  parts  of  Minnesota  west  of  the  Mississippi  for  less 
than  one-hundredth  part  of  its  present  value,  and  much  less 

172  A  CENTUEY   OS1  DISHOtfOB. 

than  the  lands  were  worth  to  them  as  hunting-grounds.  And 
while  as  hunters  they  needed  no  protection  of  the  law,  they 
knew  that  as  agriculturists  they  could  not  live  without  it ;  and 
they  positively  refused  to  sell  their  hunting-grounds  till  the 
Commissioner  of  the  United  States  promised  that  they  should 
he  protected  in  their  persons  and  property  the  same  as  whito 
men.  Government  never  accorded  to  them  this  protection, 
which,  in  the  view  of  the  Indians,  was  a  very  important  consid- 
eration in  selling  the  lands.  This  neglect  on  the  part  of  tho 
Government  led  to  yearly  complaints,  and  the  massacres  of 
1862.  *  *  *  These  Sioux  were  most  of  them  previous  to  the 
war  living  in  comfortable  homes,  with  well  -  cultivated  farms 
and  teams,"  and  were  receiving  by  annuity  provisions,  either  in 
money  or  the  equivalent,  about  $50  a  head  annually,  from  in- 
terest on  their  money  invested  in  the  bonds  of  the  Govern- 
ment. These  Indians,  in  taking  up  their  new  homesteads,  wcro 
required  by  the  Department  to  renounce,  on  oath,  all  claims  on 
the  United  States  for  annuities.  Without  doubt,  citizenship 
of  the  United  States,  the  protection  of  our  laws,  is  worth  a 
great  sum ;  but  is  it  wise  or  right  in  our  Government  to  re- 
quire these  natives  of  the  country  to  purchase,  at  a  price  of  sev- 
eral thousands  of  dollars,  that  which  is  given  without  money  or 
price  to  every  immigrant  from  Asia,  Europe,  or  Africa  that 
asks  for  it  ? 

"Besides  their  annuities,  there  is  due  them  from  the  Govern 
ment  the  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  their  old  reservation  on  the 
Minnesota  River,  which  is  more  than  forty  miles  long  and  ten 
wide ;  which,  after  paying  expenses  of  survey  and  sale,  arc,  ac- 
cording to  a  law  of  the  United  States,  to  be  expended  in  as- 
sisting them  to  make  homes  elsewhere ;  and  as  these  lands  were 
valued  at  $1  25  an  acre  and  upward,  and  arc  rapidly  selling, 
the  portion  which  will  be  due  each  of  the  Indians  cannot  be 
less  than  $200  or  $300 — or  $1000  for  each  family.  The  oatli 
required  of  them  is  supposed  to  bar  them  from  any  claim  to 

THE   SIOUX.  173 

tliis  also.  Now,  I  cannot  see  how  this  decision  of  the  Indian 
Department  is  consistent  either  with  justice  or  good  policy,  and 
it  is  certainly  inconsistent  with  both  the  spirit  and  letter  of 
Articles  six  and  ten  of  a  treaty  between  the  United  States  of 
America  and  different  bands  of  Sioux  Indians,  concluded  in 
1868,  and  ratified  and  proclaimed  February,  1869.  *  *  *  "What 
I  ask  for  them  is  that  our  Government  restore  to  them  a  part 
of  what  we  took  from  them,  and  give  them  the  same  chance  to 
live  and  thrive  which  we  give  to  all  the  other  inhabitants  of 
our  country,  whether  white  or  black.  *  *  *  That  some  aid  is 
very  necessary  must  be  obvious  to  you,  who  know  how  difficult 
it  is  for  even  white  men,  trained  to  work,  and  with  several  hun- 
dred dollars  in  property,  to  open  a  new  farm  in  this  Western 
wilderness.  Their  number  is  probably  greater  than  you  are 
aware  of.  When  I  administered  the  Lord's  Supper  there  on 
the  first  Sabbath  of  this  month,  there  were  present  seventy- 
seven  communicants  of  our  church,  besides  quite  a  number  of 
other  persons.  *  *  *  It  is  owing  to  the  Santee  Sioux — partly  to 
those  on  the  Big  Sioux  River,  chiefly  to  those  near  Fort  Wads- 
worth — that  in  the  last  five  years  not  a  single  white  inhabitant 
of  Minnesota  or  Iowa  has  been  murdered  by  the  wild  Indians, 
while  many  have  been  cut  off  in  every  frontier  State  and  Ter- 
ritory south-west  of  the  Missouri.  So  long  as  the  Christian 
Sioux  can  be  kept  on  the  frontier,  the  white  settlements  are 
safe.  *  *  *  In  conclusion,  I  wish  again  to  call  your  attention  to 
the  fact  that  these  Indians  on  the  Big  Sioux  purchase  citizen- 
ship at  a  very  great  sum,  and  to  entreat  you  to  dp  all  in  your 
power  to  secure  for  them  that  protection  of  person  or  property 
for  which  they  bargain,  and  without  which  nothing  our  Gov- 
ernment can  do  will  make  them  prosperous  or  happy." 

No  attention  was  paid  to  this  appeal;  and  the  next  year 
the  indefatigable  missionary  sent  a  still  stronger  one,  setting 
forth  that  this  colony  now  numbered  fifty  families;  had  been 
under  the  instruction  of  the  American  Board  of  Commissioners 


for  Foreign  Missions  for  many  years;  had  a  church  of  one 
hundred  members;  a  native  preacher,  partly  supported  by 
them;  had  built  log-cabins  on  their 'claims,  and  planted  farms, 
"  many  of  them  digging  up  the  ground  with  hoes  and  spades." 

Dr. Williamson  reiterates  the  treaty  provisions  under  which  he 
claims  that  these  Indians  arc  entitled  to  aid.  The  sixth  Article 
of  the  treaty  of  1808  closes  as  follows:  "Any  Indian  or  In- 
dians receiving  a  patent  for  land  under  the  foregoing  provis- 
ions, shall  thereby  and  henceforth  become  and  be  a  citizen  of  the 
United  States,  and  be  entitled  to  all  the  privileges  and  immu- 
nities of  such  citizenship,  and  shall  at  the  same  time  retain  all 
his  rights  and  benefits  accruing  to  Indians  under  this  treaty." 

This  treaty  goes  on  to  provide  most  liberally  for  all  Indians 
adopting  the  civilized  mode  of  life.  Article  eighth  specially 
provides  for  supplying  them  with  seed  and  agricultural  imple- 
ments, and  this  is  what  they  most  of  all  need. 

The  encouragement  held  forth  in  this  treaty  was  one  great 
motive  in  leading  these  people  to  break  tribal  influences,  so 
deleterious  to  improvement,  and  adopt  our  democratic  civiliza- 
tion. Is  it  not  base  tyranny  to  disappoint  them  ?  They  are 
the  first  Sioux,  if  not  the  first  Indians  in  the  United  States  to 
adopt  the  spirit  and  life  of  our  American  civilization.  They 
have  of  their  own  accord  done  just  what  the  Government  has 
been  for  generations  trying  to  get  the  Indians  to  do.  And 
now  will  the  Government  refuse  this  helping  hand?  To  our 
shame, it  has  for  two  years  refused.  And  why?  Because  the 
Indians  said, "  If  we  become  civilized,  it  is  necessary  for  us  to 
break  up  tribal  relations,  and  settle  down  like  white  men." 

In  1873  the  Government  at  last  yielded  to  this  request, 
and  sent  out  oxen,  wagons,  ploughs,  etc.,  enough  to  stock  thir- 
ty farms.  In  1874,  Dr.  Williamson,  having  been  appoints!  ;i 
special  agent  for  them,  reports  their  progress:  "They  rill  live 
in  log-houses  and  wear  citizens'  dress.  *  *  *  One  hundred  and 
nineteen  can  read  their  own  language  fluently.  They  all  go  tu 

THE  SIOUX.  175 

church  regularly.  They  have  broken  one  hundred  and  sev« 
enty-seven  acres  of  new  prairie.  Twenty  new  houses  have  been 
built.  *  *  *  They  have  cut  and  hauled  two  hundred  cords  of 
wood,  hauling  some  of  it  forty  miles  to  market.  *  *  *  They  have 
done  considerable  freighting  with  their  teams,  going  sometimes 
a  hundred  miles  away.  They  have  earned  thirty-five  hundred 
dollars,  catching  small  furs.  *  *  *  One  Indian  has  the  contract 
for  carrying  the  mail  through  Flandreau,  for  which  he  receives 
one  thousand  dollars  a  year.  *  *  *  It  is  but  a  few  miles  from 
Flandreau  to  the  far-famed  pipe -stone  quarry,  and  these  Indi- 
ans make  many  little  sums  by  selling  pipes,  rings,  ink-glasses, 
etc.,  made  of  this  beautiful  red  stone.  *  *  *  They  are  anxious 
to  be  taught  how  to  make  baskets,  mats,  cloth ;  and  the  young 
men  ask  to  be  taught  the  blacksmith  and  carpenter  trades." 

This  is  a  community  that  only  five  years  before  had  pushed 
out  into  an  unbroken  wilderness  without  a  dollar  of  money, 
without  a  plough,  to  open  farms.  "  Without  ploughs,  they 
had  to  dig  the  sod  with  their  hoes,  and  at  the  same  time  make 
their  living  by  hunting.  They  suffered  severe  hardships,  and 
a  number  of  their  best  men  perished  in  snow-storms.  Believ- 
ing they  were  carrying  out  the  wishes  of  the  Great  Father,  as 
expressed  in  the  treaty  of  1868,  to  which  they  were  parties, 
they  were  disappointed  when  for  three  years  no  notice  was 
taken  of  them."  There  is  something  pathetic  in  the  gratitude 
they  are  said  now  to  feel  for  the  niggardly  gift  of  a  few  oxen, 
wagons,  and  ploughs.  They  have  apparently  given  over  all 
hope  of  ever  obtaining  any  of  the  money  due  them  on  account 
of  their  lands  sold  in  Minnesota.  No  further  allusion  is  made 
to  it  by  Dr.  Williamson. 

From  the  Yankton  Sioux  this  year  comes  a  remarkable  re- 
port :  "  We  have  no  jail,  no  law  except  the  treaty  and  the 
agent's  word,  yet  we  have  no  quarrels,  no  fighting,  and,  with 
one  or  two  exceptions,  not  a  single  case  of  drunkenness  during 
the  year.  This  I  consider  remarkable,  when  we  take  into  con- 


sideration  the  fact  that  the  reservation  is  surrounded  by  ranches 
where  liquors  of  all  kinds  can  be  obtained."  Is  there  another 
village  of  two  thousand  inhabitants  in  the  United  States  of 
vhich  this  can  be  said  ? 

In  this  yeai  a  commission  was  sent  to  treat  with  some  of 
the  wilder  bands  of  Sioux  for  the  relinquishuient  of  their  right 
to  hunt  and  roam  over  a  large  part  of  their  unn ceded  territory 
in  Kansas  and  Nebraska.  Some  of  the  chiefs  consented.  Red 
Cloud's  band  refused  at  first ;  "  but  on  being  told  that  the  right 
would  soon  be  taken  from  them,"  after  a  delay  of  two  days 
they  "  agreed  to  accept,"  merely  stipulating  that  their  share  of 
the  twenty-five  thousand  dollars  promised  should  be  paid  in 
horses  and  guns.  They  insisted,  however,  on  this  proviso : 
"That  we  do  not  surrender  any  right  of  occupation  of  the 
country  situated  in  Nebraska  north  of  the  divide,  which  is 
south  of  and  near  to  the  Niobrara  River  and  west  of  the  one 
hundredth  meridian." 

It  was  a  significant  fact  that,  when  these  Sioux  gave  tip  this 
hunting  privilege,  "  they  requested  that  nearly  all  the  $>25,OOG 
they  received  in  compensation  for  this  rclinquishmcnt  should 
be  expended  in  cows,  horses,  harness,  and  wagons,"  says  the  ' 
Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  in  1875. 

There  are  still  some  thousand  or  more  of  hostile  Sioux  roam- 
ing about  under  the  famous  chief  Sitting  Bull — living  by  the 
chase  when  they  can,  and  by  depredations  when  they  must ; 
occasionally,  also,  appearing  at  agencies,  and  drawing  rations 
among  the  other  Indians  unsuspected.  The  remainder  of  the 
bands  arc  steadily  working  their  way  on  toward  civilization. 
The  Santees  arc  a  Christian  community ;  they  have  their  indus- 
trial-schools, Sabbath-schools,  and  night-schools;  they  publish 
a  monthly  paper  in  the  Dakota  tongue,  which  prints  twelve 
hundred  copies.  The  Yanktons  have  learned  to  wc.ivo,  and 
have  made  cloth  enough  to  give  every  Indian  woman  in  the 
tribe  one  good  dress.  The  Flandrcau  citizen  Sioux  Lave  a 

THE   SIOUX.  177 

Presbyterian  church  of  one  hundred  and  thirty-five  members, 
and  pay  half  the  salary  of  the  native  preacher.  On  the  occa- 
sion of  an  anniversary  meeting  of  the  Dakota  missionaries 
there,  these  people  raised  one  hundred  dollars  to  pay  for  their 
entertainment.  These  three  bands  are  far  the  most  advanced, 
but  all  the  others  are  making  steady  progress. 

In  1876  the  news  from  the  Sioux  on  the  agencies  is  that, 
owing  to  the  failure  of  appropriations,  the  Indian  Bureau-  had 
been  unable  to  send  the  regular  supplies,  and  the  Indians,  be- 
ing in  "  almost  a  starving  condition,"  had  been  induced,  by  the 
"  apparent  purpose  of  the  Government  to  abandon  them  to 
starvation,"  to  go  north  in  large  numbers,  and  join  the  hostile 
camps  of  Sitting  Bull  This  was  in  the  spring  j  again  in  mid- 
summer the  same  thing  happened,  and  many  of  the  Indians, 
growing  still  more  anxious  and  suspicious,  left  their  agencies 
to  join  in  the  war. 

Congress  would  probably  have  paid  little  attention  at  this 
time  to  the  reading  of  this  extract  from  "  Kent's  Commenta- 
ries : "  "  Treaties  of  peace,  when  made  by  the  competent  power, 
are  obligatory  on  the  whole  nation.  If  the  treaty  requires  the 
payment  of  money  to  carry  it  into  effect,  and  the  money  can- 
not be  raised  but  by  an  act  of  the  legislature,  the  treaty  is 
morally  obligatory  upon  the  legislature  to  pass  the  law ;  and 
to  repeal  it  would  be  a  breach  of  the  public  faith." 

A  disturbed  and  unsettled  condition  of  things  prevailed 
at  all  the  Sioux  agencies,  consequent  on  this  state  of  things. 
Companies  of  troops  were  stationed  at  all  of  them  to  guard 
against  outbreaks.  Owing  to  lack  of  funds,  the  Tanktons 
were  obliged  to  give  up  their  weaving  and  basket-making. 
At  the  Standing  Kock  Agency,  after  the  Indians  had  planted 
eight  hundred  and  seventy-two  dollars7  worth  of  seeds — of  corn, 
potatoes,  and  other  vegetables — the  grasshoppers  came  and  de- 
voured them.  "  Many  of  these  Indians,  with  their  whole  fami- 
lies, stood  all  day  in  their  fields  fighting  these  enemies,  and  in 



several  places  succeeded  so  far  as  to  save  a  considerable  part  of 
their  crops."  The  Santees  were  made  very  anxious  and.  un- 
liappy  by  fresh  rumors  of  their  probable  removal,  Public  senti- 
ment at  the  East,  knowing  no  difference  between  different  tribes 
of  Sioux,  regarded  it  as  maudlin  sentimentalism  to  claim  for  the 
Santees  any  more  rights  than  for  the  hostiles  that  had  murdered 
General  Ouster,  One  of  the  agents  in  Dakota  writes : 

"  The  recent  troubles  in  the  Indian  country,  and  the  existing 
uncertainty  as  to  the  future  intentions  of  the  Government 
toward  the  Indians,  occasion  considerable  uneasiness  among 
them.  *  *  *  Eeports  are  circulated  that  no  further  assistance 
will  "be  rendered  by  the  Government,  as  the  Great  Council  in 
Washington  refuses  to  furnish  money  unless  the  Indians  are 
turned  over  to  the  War  Department.  Every  inducement  is 
held  out  to  encourage  secession  from  the  agencies,  and  strength- 
en the  forces  of  the  hostile  camp.  It  is  not  surprising  that,  in 
view  of  the  non-arrival  of  supplies,  and  the  recent  order  of  the 
War  Department  to  arrest  parties  leaving  and  arriving,  that 
people  less  credulous  than  Indians  would  feel  undecided  and 
uneasy.  *  *  *  It  must  be  remembered  that  the  whole  Sioux 
nation  is  related,  and  that  there  is  hardly  a  man,  woman,  or 
child  in  the  hostile  camp  who  has  not  blood  relations  at  one  or 
the  other  of  the  agencies." 

Contrast  the  condition  into  which  all  those  friendly  Indians 
are  suddenly  plunged  now,  with  their  condition  only  two  years 
previous ;  martial  law  now  in  force  on  all  their  reservations ; 
themselves  in  danger  of  starvation,  and  constantly  exposed  to  the 
influence  of  emissaries  from  their  friends  and  relations,  urging 
them  to  join  in  fighting  this  treacherous  government  that  Lad 
kept  faith  with  nobody — neither  with  friend  nor  with  foe ; 
that  inado  no  discriminations  in  its  warfare  between  friends  and 
foos  j  burning  villages  occupied  only  by  women  and  children  ; 
butchering  hands  of  Indians  living  peacefully  under  protection 
of  its  Hag,  as  at  Sand  Creek,  in  Colorado— no  wonder  thai 

THE   SIOUX.  179 

one  of  the  military  commander's  official  reports  says,  "The 
hostile  body  was  largely  re-enforced  by  accessions  from  the  va- 
rious agencies,  where  the  malcontents  were,  doubtless,  in  many 
cases,  driven  to  desperation  by  starvation  and  the  heartless 
frauds  perpetrated  on  them ; "  and  that  the  Interior  Department 
is  obliged  to  confess  that,  "  Such  desertions  were  krgely  due 
to  the  uneasiness  which  the  -Indians  had  long  felt  on  account 
of  the  infraction  of  treaty  stipulations  by  the  white  invasion 
of  the  Black  Hills,  seriously  aggravated  at  the  most  critical  pe- 
riod by  irregular  and  insufficient  issues  of  rations,  necessitated 
by  inadequate  and  delayed  appropriations." 

It  was  at  this  time  that  Sitting  Bull  made  his  famous  reply  : 
"  Tell  them  at  Washington  if  they  have  one  man  who  speaks 
the  truth  to  send  him  to  me,  and  I  will  listen  to  what  he  Las 
to  say." 

The  story  of  the  military  campaign  against  these  hostile 
Sioux  in  1876  and  1877  is  to  be  read  in  the  official  records 
of  the  War  Department,  so  far  as  statistics  can  tell  it.  Another 
history,  which  can  never  be  read,  is  written  in  the  hearts  of 
widowed  women  in  the  Sioux  nation  and  in  the  nation  of  the 
United  States. 

Before  midsummer  the  Sioux  war  was  over.  The  indomi- 
table Sitting  Bull  had  escaped  to  Canada— that  sanctuary  of 
refuge  for  the  Indian  as  weU  as  for  the  slave.  Here  he  was 
visited  in  the  autumn  by  a  commission  from  the  United 
States,  empowered  by  the  President  to  invite  him  with  his 
people  to  return,  and  be  "  assigned  to  agencies,"  and  treated 
"in  as  friendly  a  spirit  as  other  Indians  had  been  who  had 
surrendered."  It  was  explained  to  him  that  every  one  of  the 
Indians  who  had  surrendered  had  "been  treated  in  the  same 
manner  as  those  of  your  nation  who,  during  all  the  past 
troubles,  remained  peaceably  at  their  agencies."  As  a  great 
part  of  those  who  had  fled  from  these  same  agencies  to  join 
Sitting  Bull  had  done  so  because  they  were  starving,  and  the 

180  A  CEffTTTBY   Off  DISHONOR. 

Government  knew  this  (had  printed  the  record  of  the  fact  in 
the  reports  of  two  of  its'  Departments),  this  was  certainly  a 
strange  phraseology  of  invitation  for  it  to  address  to  Sitting 
Bull.  His  replies  and  those  of  his  chiefs  were  full  of  scathing 
sarcasm.  Secure  on  British  soil,  they  had  for  once  safe  free- 
dom of  speech  as  well  as  of  action,  and  they  gave  the  United 
States  Commissioners  very  conclusive  reasons  why  they  chose 
to  remain  in  Canada,  where  they  could  "  trade  with  the  traders 
and  make  a  living,"  and  where  their  women  had  "time  to 
raise  their  children."  * 

The  commissioners  returned  from  their  bootless  errand,  and 
the  Interior  Department  simply  entered  on  its  records  the  state- 
ment that  "  Sitting  Bull  and  his  adherents  are  no  longer  con- 
sidered wards  of  the  Government."  It  also  enters  on  the  same 
record  the  statement  that  "  in  the  months  of  September  and 
October,  1876,  the  various  Sioux  agencies  were  visited  by  a 
commission  appointed  under  the  Act  of  Congress,  August  15th 
of  that  year,  to  negotiate  with  the  Sioux  for  an  agreement  to 
surrender  that  portion  of  the  Sioux  Ecservation  which  included 
the  Black  Hills,  and  certain  hunting  privileges  outside  that  re- 
serve, guaranteed  by  the  treaty  of  18G8;  to  grant  a  right  of 
way  across  their  reserve  ;  and  to  provide  for  the  removal  of  the 
Red  Cloud  and  Spotted  Tail  bands  to  new  agencies  on  the  Mis- 
souri River.  The  commission  were  also  authorized  to  take  steps 
to  gain  the  consent  of  the  Sioux  to  their  removal  to  the  Indian 
Territory.  *  *  *  The  commission  were  successful  in  all  the  ne- 
gotiations with  which  they  were  charged,  and  the  Indians  niado 
every  concession  that  was  desired  by  the  Government,  although 
we  were  engaged  at  that  very  time  in  fighting  their  relatives 
and  friends."  The  only  comment  needed  on  this  last  para- 
graph is  to  suggest  that  a  proper  list  of  oirulu  for  that  page 
should  contain :  "  For  '  although '  read  '  because ! ' "  "  On  bo- 
half  of  the  United  States  the  agreement  thus  entered  into  pro- 

*  See  Appendix.  Art.  V. 

THE   SIOUX.  181 

vided  for  subsisting  the  Sioux  on  a  stated  ration  until  they 
should  become  self-supporting ;  for  furnishing  schools,  and  all 
necessary  aid  and  instruction  in  agriculture  and  the  mechanical 
arts,  and  for  the  allotment  of  lands  in  severalty." 

In  accordance  with  this  act,  a  commission  was  sent  to  select 
a  location  on  the  Missouri  Eiver  for  the  two  new  Sioux  agen- 
cies (the  Eed  Cloud  and  Spotted  Tail). 

"  For  the  former  the  site  chosen  is  the  junction  of  Yellow 
Medicine  and  Missouri  rivers,  and  at  that  point  agency  build- 
ings have  just  been  erected,"  says  the  Eeport  of  the  Indian 
Bureau  for  1877.  "For  the  latter  the  old  Ponca  Reserve  was 
decided  on,  where  the  agency  buildings,  storehouses,  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  Indian  houses,  and  five  hundred  acres  of  culti- 
vated fields,  left  vacant  by  the  Poncas,  offer  special  advantages 
for  present  quarters." 

The  commissioner  says :  "  The  removal  of  fourteen  thousand 
Sioux  Indians  at  this  season  of  the  year,  a  distance  of  three 
hundred  miles  from  their  old  agencies  in  Nebraska  to  their 
new  quarters  near  the  Missouri  Eiver,  is  not  a  pleasant  matter 
to  contemplate.  Neither  the  present  Secretary  of  the  Interior 
nor  the  present  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  is  responsible 
for  the  movement,  but  they  have  carried  out  the  law  faithfully 
though  reluctantly.  The  removal  is  being  made  in  accord- 
ance with  the  Act  of  August  15th,  1876.  It  is  proper  to  say 
here  that  I  cannot  but  look  on  the  necessity  thus  imposed  by 
law  on  the  executive  branch  of  the  Government  as  an  unfor- 
tunate one,  and  the  consequences  ought  to  be  remedied  as 
speedily  as  possible. 

"  Let  us  for  a  moment  consider  that  the  Spotted  Tail  Agency 
was  in  1871  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Missouri  Eiver,  where 
the  whites  became  exceedingly  troublesome,  and  the  river 
afforded  abundant  facilities  for  the  introduction  of  intoxicat- 
ing liquors.  In  1874  the  Eed  Cloud  and  Spotted  Tail  agen- 
cies were  removed  to  what  a  subsequent  survey  proved  to  be 


the  State  of  Nebraska — d;he  former  agency  one  hundred  and 
sixty-five  miles  from  Cheyenne,  and  the  latter  one  hundred  and 
eight  miles  from  Sidney,  the  nearest  points  on  the  Union  Pacific 
Eailroad.  Here  the  usual  ill-fortune  attending  the  removal 
of  these  Indians  was  again  exemplified  in  placing  the  agencies 
on  absolutely  barren  land,  where  there  was  no  possibility  of 
cultivating  the  soil,  no  hope  of  their  being  enabled  to  become 
self-supporting,  and  where  they  luive  of  necessity  been  kept  in 
the  hopeless  condition  of  paupers." 

In  the  hope  of  placing  these  Indians  upon  arable  land, 
where  they  might  become  civilized  and  self-supporting,  the 
determination  was  hastily  taken  to  remove  them  back  to  the 
Missouri  River.  This  step  was  taken  without  a  proper  exami- 
nation of  other  points  on  their  reservation,  where  it  is  stated 
that  "  a  sufficient  quantity  of  excellent  wheat  lands  can  bo 
found  on  either  bank  of  the  White  River,  and  where  there  is 
also  timber  sufficient  in  quantity  and  quality  for  all  practical 
purposes.  ***  The  Indian  chiefs,  in  their  interview  with  the 
President  in  September  last,  begged  that  they  might  not  be 
sent  to  the  Missouri  River,  as  whiskey-drinking  and  other 
demoralization  would  be  the  consequence.  This  was  the  judg- 
ment of  the  best  men  of  the  tribe ;  but  the  necessity  was  one 
that  the  President  could  not  control.  The  provisions  and 
supplies  for  the  ensuing  winter  had  been  placed,  according  to 
law,  on  the  Missouri,  and,  owing  to  the  lateness  of  the  season, 
it  was  impossible  to  remove  them  to  the  old  agencies.  Accord- 
ingly, the  necessities  of  the  case  compelled  the  removal  of 
these  Indians  in  the  midst  of  the  snows  and  storms  of  early 
winter,  which  have  already  set  in." 

If  there  were  absolutely  no  other  record  written  of  the  man- 
agement of  Indian  affairs  by  the  Interior  Department  than 
this  one  page  of  the  history  of  these  two  bands  of  the  Sioux 
tribe,  this  alone  would  bo  enough  to  show  the  urgent  niiuil  of 
an  entirely  new  system.  So  many  and  such  hasty,  ill-con- 

THE  SIOUX.  183 

sidered,  uninformed,  capricious,  and  cmeA  decisions  of  arbitrary 
power  could  hardly  be  found  in  a  seven  years'  record  of  any 
known  tyrant ;  and  thero  is  no  tyrant  whose  throne  would  not 
have  been  rocked,  if  not  upset,  by  the  revolutions  which  would 
have  followed  on  such  oppressions. 

There  is  a  sequel  to  this  story  of  the  removal  of  the  Red 
Cloud  and  Spotted  Tail  bands — a  sequel  not  recorded  in  the 
official  reports  of  the  Department,  but  familiar  to  many  men 
in  the  Western  country.  Accounts  of  it — some  humorous, 
some  severe — were  for  some  time  floating  about  in  "Western 

The  Eed  Cloud  and  Spotted  Tail  bands  of  Sioux  consented 
to  go  to  the  old  Ponca  Eeserve  only  after  being  told  that  all 
their  supplies  had  been  sent  to  a  certain  point  on  the  Missouri 
Eiver  with  a  view  to  this  move ;  and  it  being  too  late  to  take_ 
all  this  freight  northward  again,  they  would  starve  if  they 
stayed  where  they  were.  Being  assured  that  they  would  be 
allowed  to  go  back  in  the  spring,  and  having  a  written  pledge 
from  General  Crook  (in  whose  word  they  had  implicit  faith) 
that  the  Government  would  fulfil  this  promise,  they  at  last 
very  reluctantly  consented  to  go  to  the  Ponca  Keserve  for 
the  winter.  In  the  spring  no  orders  came  for  the  removal. 
March  passed,  April  passed — no  orders.  The  chiefs  sent 
word  to  their  friend,  General  Crook,  who  replied  to  them  with 
messages  sent  by  a  swift  runner,  begging  them  not  to  break 
away,  but  to  wait  a. little  longer.  Finally,  in  May,  the  Com- 
missioner of  Indian  Affairs  went  himself  to  hold  a  council 
with  them.  When  he  rose  to  speak,  the  chief  Spotted  Tail 
sprung  up,  walked  toward  him,  waving  in  his  hand  the  paper 
containing  the  promise  of  the  Government  to  return  them  to 
White  Clay  Creek,  and  exclaimed,  "All  the  men  who  come 
from  Washington  are  liars,  and  the  bald-headed  ones  are  the 
worst  of  all !  I  don't  want  to  hear  one  word  from  you — you 
are  a  bald-headed  old  liar !  You  have  but  one  thing  to  do  here, 


and  that  is  to  give  an  order  for  us  to  return  to  Wliito  Clay 
Creek.  Here  are  your  written  words ;  and  if  you  don't  give 
this  order,  and  everything  here  is  not  011  wheels  inside  of  ten 
days,  I'll  order  my  youug  men  to  tear  down  and  bum  every- 
thing in  this  part  of  the  country  !  I  don't  want  to  hear  any- 
thing more  from  you,  and  I'vo  gob  nothing  more  to  say  to 
you ; v  and  he  turned  his  back  on  the  commissioner  and  walked 
away.  Such  language  as  this  would  not  have  been  borne  from 
unarmed  and  helpless  Indians ;  but  whon  it  came  from  a  chief 
with  four  thousand  armod  warriors  at  his  back,  it  was  another 
affair  altogether.  The  order  was  written.  In  less  than  ten 
days  everything  was  "on  wheels,"  and  the  whole  body  of 
these  Sioux  on  the  move  to  the  country  they  had  indicated ; 
and  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  says,  naively,  in  his  Report 
for  1868,  "Tho  Indians  were  found  to  be  quite  determined  to 
move  westward,  and  the  promise  of  the  Government  in  that 
respect  was  faithfully  kept." 

The  reports  from  all  the  bands  of  Sioux  for  the  past  two 
years  have  been  full  of  indications  of  their  rapid  and  encour- 
aging improvement.  "The  most  decided  advance  in  civiliza- 
tion has  been  made  by  the  Ogallalla  and  Brulc  Sioux," 
says  the  Eeport  of  the  Indian  Bureau  for  1879.  "Their 
progress  during  the  last  year  and  a  half  has  been  simply 

And  yet  this  one  band  of  Ogallalla  Sioux  has  been  moved, 
since  1863,  eight  times.  Is  it  not  a  wonder  that  they  have 
any  heart  to  work,  any  hope  of  anything  in  the  future  ? 

"  It  is  no  longer  a  question,"  says  this  same  report,  "  whether 
Indians  will  work.  They  are  steadily  asking  for  opportunities 
to  do  so,  and  the  Indians  who  to-day  are  willing  and  anxious 
to  engage  in  civilized  labor  are  largely  in  tho  majority ;  *  *  * 
there  is  an  almost  universal  call  for  lands  in  severalty  ;  *  *  * 
there  is  a  growing  desire  to  live  in  houses ;  the  demand  for 
agricultural  implements  and  appliances,  and  for  wagons  and 

THE   SIOUX.  185 

harness  for  fanning  and  freighting  purposes,  is  constantly  in- 

That  all  this  should  be  true  of  these  wild,  -warlike  Sioux, 
after  so  many  years  of  hardships  and  forced  wanderings  and 
removals,  is  incontrovertible  proof  that  there  is  in  them  a  na- 
tive strength  of  character,  power  of  endurance,  and  indomitable 
courage,  which  will  make  of  them  ultimately  a  noble  and  supe- 
rior race  of  people,  if  civilization  will  only  give  them  time  to 
become  civilized,  and  Christians  will  leave  them  time  and  peace 
to  learn  Christianity. 




IN  1803  Captain  Lewis  and  Lieutenant  Clarke,  of  the  First 
United  States  Infantry,  were  commissioned  by  Congress  to  ex- 
plore the  river  Missouri  from  its  mouth  to  its  source,  to  "  seek 
the  best  water  communication  from  thence  to  the  Pacific 
Ocean,"  and  to  enter  into  conference  with  all  the  Indian  tribes 
on  their  route,  with  a  view  to  the  establishment  of  commerce 
with  them.  They  report  the  "  Poncars  "  as  "  the  remnant  of  a 
nation  once  respectable  in  point  of  numbers ;  they  formerly  re- 
sided on  a  branch  of  the  Ecd  River  of  Lake  Winnipeg;  being 
oppressed  by  Sioux,  they  removed  to  the  west  side  of  the  Mis- 
souri, on  Poncar  Biver,  where  they  built  and  fortified  a  village, 
and  remained  some  years ;  but,  being  pursued  by  their  ancient 
enemies,  the  Sioux,  and  reduced  by  continual  wars,  they  have 
joined  and  now  live  with  the  Mahas  (Omahas),  whose  language 
they  speak."  Their  numbers  are  estimated  by  Lewis  and  Clarke 
as  being  only  about  two  hundred,  all  tolil ;  but  this  small  esti- 
mate is  probably  to  be  explained  by  the  fact  that  at  this  time 
the  tribe  was  away  on  its  annual  buffalo-hunt,  and  their  village 
had  been  so  long  empty  and  quiet  that  a  buffalo  was  found 
grazing  there.  A  few  years  later  the  tribe  is  reckoned  at  four 
hundred :  in  a  census  of  the  Indian  tribes,  taken  by  General 
Porter  in  1829,  they  are  set  down  at  six  hundred.  The  artist 
Catlin,  who  visited  them  a  few  years  later,  rated  them  a  little 
less.  He  gives  an  interesting  account  of  the  chief  of  the  tribe, 
named  Shoo-de-ga-cha  (Smoke),  and  his  young  and  pretty  wife, 
Hee-la'h-dee  (the  Pure  Fountain),  whose  portraits  he  painted. 

THE  PONCAS.  187 

He  says :  "  The  chief,  who  was  wrapped  in  a  buffalo-robe,  is  a 
noble  specimen  of  native  dignity  and  philosophy.  I  conversed 
much  with  him,  and  from  his  dignified  manners,  as  well  as  from 
the  soundness  of  his  reasoning,  I  became  fully  convinced  that 
he  deserved  to  be  the  sachem  of  a  more  numerous  and  prosper- 
ous tribe.  He  related  to  me  with  great  coolness  and  frankness 
the  poverty  and  distress  of  his  nation — and  with  the  method  of 
a  philosopher  predicted  the  certain  and  rapid  extinction  of  his 
tribe,  which  he  had  not  the  power  to  avert.  Poor,  noble  chief, 
who  was  equal  to  and  worthy  of  a  greater  empire !  He  sat  on 
the  deck  of  the  steamer,  overlooking  the  little  cluster  of  his 
wigwams  mingled  among  the  trees,  and,  like  Caius  Marius 
weeping  over  the  ruins  of  Carthage,  shed  tears  as  he  was  des- 
canting on  the  poverty  of  his  ill-fated  little  community,  which 
he  told  me  had  '  once  been  powerful  and  happy ;  that  the  buf- 
faloes which  the  Great  Spirit  had  given  them  for  food,  and 
which  formerly  spread  all  over  their  green  prairies,  had  all  been 
killed  or  driven  out  by  the  approach  of  white  men,  who  wanted 
their  skins ;  that  their  country  was  now  entirely  destitute  of 
game,  and  even  of  roots  for  food,  as  it  was  one  continuous  prai- 
rie ;  and  that  his  young  men,  penetrating  the  countries  of  their 
enemies  for  buffaloes,  which  they  were  obliged  to  do,  were  cut 
to  pieces  and  destroyed  in  great  numbers.  That  his  people  had 
foolishly  become  fond  of  fire-water,  and  had  given  away  every- 
thing in  their  country  for  it ;  that  it  had  destroyed  many  of 
his  warriors,  and  would  soon  destroy  the  rest ;  that  his  tribe 
was  too  small  and  his  warriors  too  few  to  go  to  war  with  the 
tribes  around  them ;  that  they  were  met  and  killed  by  the  Sioux 
on  the  north,  by  the  Pawnees  on  the  west,  by  the  Osages  and 
Konzas  on  the  south,  and  still  more  alarmed  from  the  constant 
advance  of  the  pale  faces — their  enemies  from  the  east— with 
whiskey  and  small-pox,  which  already  had  destroyed  four-fifths 
of  his  tribe,  and  would  soon  impoverish  and  at  last  destroy  the 
remainder  of  them.1  In  this  way  did  this  shrewd  philosopher 


lament  over  the  unlucky  destiny  of  his  tribe,  and  I  pitied  him 
•with  all  my  heart." 

The  day  before  Catlin  arrived  at  this  village  this  old  chiefs 
son. — the  young  Hongs-kay-de — had  created  a  great  sensation 
in  the  community  by  accomplishing  a  most  startling  amount 
of  bigamy  in  a  single  day.  Being  the  chiefs  son,  and  having 
just  been  presented  by  his  father  with  a  handsome  wig  wain 
and  nine  horses,  he  had  no  difficulty  whatever  in  ingratiating 
himself  with  the  fathers  of  marriageable  daughters,  and  had, 
with  ingenious  slyness,  offered  himself  to  and  been  accepted 
by  four  successive  fathers-in-law,  promising  to  each  of  them 
two  horses — enjoining  on  them  profound  secrecy  until  a  cer- 
tain hour,  when  he  would  announce  to  the  whole  tribe  that 
he  was  to  be  married.  At  the  time  appointed  he  appeared, 
followed  by  some  of  his  young  friends  leading  eight  horses. 
Addressing  the  prospective  father-in-law  who  stood  nearest 
him,  with  his  daughter  by  his  side,  he  said,  "  You  promised  mo 
your  daughter :  here  are  the  two  horses."  A  great  hubbub 
immediately  arose  ;  the  three  others  all  springing  forward,  an- 
gry and  perplexed,  claiming  his  promises  made  to  them.  Tho 
triumphant  young  Turk  exclaimed,  "  You  have  all  now  acknowl- 
edged your  engagements  to  me,  and  must  fulfil  them.  Hero 
are  your  horses."  There  was  nothing  moro  to  bo  said.  Tho 
horses  were  delivered,  and  Hongs-kay-do,  leading  two  brides  in 
each  hand,  walked  off  with  great  dignity  to  his  wigwam. 

This  was  an  affair  totally  unprecedented  in  the  annals  of  tho 
tribe,  and  produced  an  impression  as  profound  as  it  could  havo 
done  in  a  civilized  community,  though  of  a  different  character 
— redounding  to  tho  young  prince's  credit  rather  than  to  his 
shame — marking  him  out  as  one  daring  and  original  enough 
to  bo  a  "  Big  Medicine."  Mr.  Catlin  says  that  ho  visited  tho 
bridal  wigwam  soon  afterward,  and  saw  the  "  four  modest  little 
wives  seated  around  the  fire,  seeming  to  harmonize  very  well.'* 
Of  the  prettiest  one — "  Mong-shong-shaw  "  (tho  Bending  Wil- 

THE  FONCAS.  189 

low) — he  took  a  portrait,  and  a  ?ery  sweet-faced  young  woman 
she  is  too,  wrapped  in  a  beautifully  ornamented  fur  robe,  much 
handsomer  and  more  graceful  that'  the  fur-lined  circulars  worn 
by  civilized  women. 

The  United  States'  first  treaty  v  ith  this  handful  of  gentle 
and  peaceable  Indians  was  made  in  .181 7.  It  was  simply  a 
treaty  of  peace  and  friendship. 

In  1825  another  was  made,  in  which  the  Poncas  admit 
that  "  they  reside  within  the  territorial  limits  of  the  United 
States,  acknowledge  their  supremacy,  and  claim  their  protec- 
tion." They  also  admit  "the  right  of  the  United!  States  to 
regulate  all  trade  and  intercourse  with  them."  The  United 
States,  on  their  part,  "  agree  to  receive  the  Poncar  tribe  of  In- 
dians into  their  friendship  and  under  their  protection,  and  to 
extend  to  them  from  time  to  time  such  benefits  and  acts  of 
kindness  as  may  be  convenient,  and  seem  just  and  proper  to 
the  President  of  the  United  States." 

After  this  there  is  little  mention,  in  the  official  records  of  the 
Government,  of  the  Poncas  for  some  thirty  years.  Other  tribes 
in  the  Upper  Missouri  region  were  so  troublesome  and  aggres- 
sive that  the  peaceable  Poncas  were  left  to  shift  for  themselves 
as  they  best  could  amidst  all  the  warring  and  warring  interests  by 
which  they  were  surrounded.  In  1856  the  agent  of  the  Upper 
Platte  mentions  incidentally  that  their  lands  were  being  fast 
intruded  upon  by  squatters ;  and  in  1857  another  agent  reports 
having  met  on  the  banks  of  the  Missouri  a  large  band  of  Pon- 
cas, who  made  complaint  that  all  the  Indians  on  the  river  were 
receiving  presents  and  they  were  overlooked ;  that  the  men  from 
the  steamboats  cut  their  trees  down,  and  that  white  settlers 
were  taking  away  all  their  land.  In  1858  the  Commissioner 
for  Indian  Affairs  writes :  "  Treaties  were  entered  into  in 
March  and  April  last  with  the  Poncas  and  Yankton  Sioux, 
who  reside  west  of  Iowa,  for  the  purpose  of  extinguishing  theii 
title  to  all  the  lands  occupied  and  claimed  by  them,  except 


small  portions  on  which  to  colonize  and  domesticate  them. 
This  proceeding  was  deemed  (necessary  in  order  to  obtain  such 
control  over  these  Indians  a-3  to  prevent  their  interference  with 
our  settlements,  which  are  rapidly  extending  in  that  direction. 
These  treaties  were  duly  Uid  before  the  Senate  at  its  last  reg- 
ular session,  but  were  ri0t,  it  is  understood,  finally  acted  on 
by  that  body. 

"  Kelying  on  the  ratification  of  their  treaty,  and  the  adoption 
of  timely  measure^-  to  carry  out  its  provisions  in  their  favor 
the  Poncas  pr&ceeded  in  good  faith  to  comply  with  its  stip- 
ulations byalkndoning  their  settlements  and  hunting-grounds, 
ancLvlfhdrawing  to  the  small  tract  reserved  for  their  future 
home.  Being  without  a  crop  to  rely  upon,  and  having  been 
unsuccessful  in  their  usual  summer  hunt,  they  were  reduced  to 
a  state  of  desperation  and  destitution.  As  nothing  had  been 
done  for  them  under  the  treaty,  they  concluded  it  was  void, 
and  threatened  to  fall  back  upon  their  former  settlements,  somo 
of  the  most  important  of  which  had,  in  the  mean  time,  been 
taken  possession  of  by  numerous  white  persons." 

The  Poncas  never  heard  of  Grotius  or  Yattel ;  but,  in  assum- 
ing that  the  treaty  was  void  because  it  was  not  fulfilled,  they 
only  acted  on  the  natural  principles  of  tho  law  of  nations  and 
of  treaties,  as  laid  down  by  all  authorities.  Thucydidcs  said  : 
"  They  are  not  the  first  breakers  of  a  league  who,  being  desert- 
ed, seek  for  aid  to  others,  but  they  that  perform  not  by  their 
deeds  what  they  have  promised  to  do  upon  their  oaths." 

In  consequence  of  this  delay  to  fulfil  the  treaty  provisions, 
the  Government  was  forced  to  stop  in  at  tho  last  moment  ami 
"  incur  a  heavy  expense  "  in  furnishing  the  Poncas  with  food 
enough  to  keep  them  from  starving ;  and  in  1850,  under  this 
pressure,  the  Senate  ratified  tho  treaty,  Ly  it  the  Poncas 
ceded  and  relinquished  to  tlio  United  States  all  the  lam  Is  limy 
had  over  owned  or  claimed,  "  wherever  situate,"  except  a  snuill 
tract  between  the  Ponca  and  Mobraru  rivers,  lu  consideration 

THE   PONCAS.  191 

of  this  cession,  the  United  States  Government  agreed  "  to  pro- 
tect the  Poncas  in  the  possession  of  this  tract  of  land,  and 
their  persons  and  property  thereon,  during  good  behavior  on 
their  part  ;  to  pay  them  annuities  annually  for  thirty  years — 
$12,000  for  the  first  five  years,  then  $10,000  for  ten  years, 
then  $8000  for  fifteen  years ;  to  expend  $20,000  for  their  sub- 
sistence during  the  first  year,  for  building  houses,  etc. ;  to  es- 
tablish schools,  and  to  build  mills,  mechanics'  shops,  etc. ;  to 
give  $20,000  for  the  payment  of  the  existing  obligations  of . 
the  tribe." 

Two  years  later  the  agent  newly  appointed  to  take  charge  of 
the  Poncas  reports  to  the  Department  the  amount  of  improve- 
ments made  on  the  reservation  :  "  One  saw  and  grist-mill ;  two 
agency  houses — story  and  a  half  houses — without  -inside  lining 
or  plastering,  16  by  26  and  18  by  32  feet  in  size;  six  small 
round  log-houses  (three  with  a  small  shed  for  a  stable),  a  light 
log-corral  for  cattle,  and  a  canvas  shed  for  storing  under  ;  and 
about  sixty  acres  of  ground,  broken,  comprised  all  the  improve- 

Evidently  a  very  small  part  of  the  $20,000  had  been  spent 
as  yet.  He  did  not  find  an  Indian  on  the  reservation.  From 
fear  of  the  Sioux  (who  in  1860  had  stolen  from  them  more 
than  half  the  horses  they  owned)  they  had  moved  down  the 
Niobrara  Eiver,  some  twenty  miles  nearer  the  Missouri.  It  was 
with  the  greatest  difficulty  that  the  agent  induced  them  to  re- 
turn; and  after  they  did  so,  they  huddled  their  tents  close 
about  the  agency  buildings,  and  could  not  be  induced  to  go 
half  a  mile  away  unless  accompanied  by  some  of  the  white 

As  the  agent  had  no  food  to  feed  them  with,  and  no  money 
to  buy  any  (spite  of  the  appropriation  of  $20,000  for  subsist- 
ence and  house-building),  he  induced  them  to  go  off  on  a  hunt; 
but  in  less  than  a  month  they  came  straggling  back,  "  begging 
for  provisions  for  their  women  and  children,  whom  they  had 


left  on  the  plains  half-starved,  having  been  unable  to  find  any 
game,  or  any  food  except  wild-turnips.  Some  of  them  went 
to  visit  the  Omahas,  others  the  Pawnees,  where  they  remained 
until  the  little  corn  they  had  planted  produced  roasting-ears. 
In  the  mean  time  those  who  were  here  subsisted  mainly  on 
wild-cherries  and  plums  and  the  wild-turnip,  and  traded  away 
most  of  their  blankets  and  annuity  goods  for  provisions." 

In  1863  the  reports  are  still  more  pitiful.  "  They  started 
on  their  summer  hunt  toward  the  last  of  May,  immediately 
after  the  first  hoeing  of  their  corn.  At  first  they  were  success- 
ful and  found  buffaloes  j  but  afterward,  the  ground  being  occu- 
pied by  the  Yanktons,  who  were  sent  south  of  the  Niobrara 
by  the  general  commanding  the  district,  and  who  wore  about 
double  the  number,  and  with  four  times  as  many  horses,  they 
soon  consumed  what  meat  they  had  cured,  and  were  compelled 
to  abandon  the  chase.  They  commenced  to  return  in  the  lat- 
ter part  of  July.  They  went  away  with  very  high  hopes,  and 
reasonably  so,  of  a  large  crop,  but  returned  to  see  it  all  with- 
ered and  dried  up.  In  the  mean  time  the  plains  had  been  burnt 
over,  so  that  they  could  not  discover  the  roots  they  are  in  the 
habit  of  digging.  Even  the  wild-plums,  which  grow  on  bushes 
down  in  ravines  and  gullies,  are  withered  and  dried  on  the 
limbs.  The  building  I  occupy  was  constantly  surrounded  by  a 
hungry  crowd  begging  for  food.  *  *  *  I  am  warned  by  military 
authority  to  keep  the  Poncas  within  the  limits  of  the  reserva- 
tion ;  hut  this  is  an  impossibility.  There  is  nothing  within  its 
limits,  nor  can  anything  be  obtained  in  sufficient  quantity,  or 
brought  here  soon  enough  to  keep  thorn  from  starving.  *  *  * 
The  Poncas  have  behaved  well — quite  as  well,  if  not  better 
than,  under  like  circumstances,  tho  same  number  of  whites 
would  have  done.  I  have  known  \vholo  families  to  live  for 
days  together  on  nothing  but  half-dried  corn-stalks,  and  this 
when  thcro  wero  cattlo  and  sheep  in  their  sight." 

At  this  time  martial  law  was  in  force  on  many  of  tho  Indian 


reservations,  owing  to  the  presence  of  roving  bands  of  hostile 
Sioux,  driven  from  Minnesota  after  their  outbreak  there. 

The  Poncas  through  all  these  troubles  remained  loyal  and 
peaceable,  and  were  "unwavering  in  their  fidelity  to  their 
treaty,"  says  the  Indian  Commissioner. 

In  December  of  this  year  what  the  governmental  reports  call 
"  a  very  unfortunate  occurrence  "  took  place  in  Nebraska.  A 
party  of  Poncas,  consisting  of  four  men,  six  women,  three  boys, 
and  two  girls,  returning  from  a  visit  to  the  Omalias,  had 
camped  for  the  night  about  twelve  miles  from  their  o\ni  reser- 
vation. In  the  night  a  party  of  soldiers  from  a  military  post 
on  the  Niobrara  Eiver  came  to  their  camp,  and  began  to  insult 
the  squaws,  "  offering  money  with  one  hand,  and  presenting  a 
revolver  with  the  other."  The  Indians,  alarmed,  pulled  up 
their  lodge,  and  escaped  to  a  copse  of  willows  near  by.  The 
soldiers  fired  at  them  as  they  ran  away,  and  then  proceeded  to 
destroy  all  their  effects.  They  cut  the  lodge  covers  to  pieces, 
burnt  the  saddles  and  blankets,  cut  open  sacks  of  beans,  corn, 
and  dried  pumpkin,  and  strewed  their  contents  on  the  ground, 
and  went  away,  taking  with  them  a  skin  lodge-covering,  bea- 
ver-skins, buffalo-robes,  blankets,  guns,  and  all  the  small  ar- 
ticles. The  Indians'  ponies  were  hid  in  the  willows.  Early 
in  the  morning  they  returned  with  these,  picked  up  all  the  corn 
which  had  not  been  destroyed,  and  such  other  articles  as  they 
could  find,  packed  their  ponies  as  best  they  might,  and  set  off 
barefooted  for  home.  After  they  had  gone  a  few  miles  they 
stopped  and  built  a  fire  to  parch  some  corn  to  eat.  Some  of 
the  women  and  children  went  to  look  for  wild-beans,  leaving 
three  women  and  a  child  at  the  camp.  Here  the  soldiers  came 
on  them  again.  As  soon  as  the  Indians  saw  them  coming  they 
fled.  The  soldiers  fired'  on  them,  wounding  one  woman  by 
a  ball  through  her  thigh ;  another,  with  a  child  on  her  back, 
by  two  balls  through  the  child's  thighs,  one  of  which  passed 
through  the  mother's  side.  These  women  were  fired  on  as 


they  were  crossing  the  river  on  the  ice.  The  soldiers  then 
took  possession  of  the  six  ponies  and  all  the  articles  at  the 
camp,  and  left.  The  squaws  and  children  "who  were  looking 
for  beans  were  half  a  mile  below ;  a  little  dog  belonging  to 
them  barked  and  revealed  their  hiding-place  in  the  willows. 
The  soldiers  immediately  turned  on  them,  dismounted,  and, 
making  up  to  them,  deliberately  shot  them  dead  as  they  hud- 
dled helplessly  together — three  women  and  a  little  girl ! 

One  of  the  boys,  a  youth,  ran  for  the  river,  pursued  by  the 
soldiers.  On  reaching  the  river  lie  dived  into  the  water  through 
a  hole  in  the  ice ;  as  often  as  he  lifted  his  head  they  fired  at 
him..  After  they  went  away  he  crawled  out  and  escaped  to 
the  agency.  One  of  the  murdered  women,  the  mother  of  this 
boy,  had  three  balls  in  her  head  and  cheek,  her  throat  cut,  and 
her  head  half-severed  by  a  sabre-thrust  j  another,  the  youngest 
woman,  had  her  cloth  skirt  taken  off  and  carried  away,  and  all 
her  other  clothes  torn  from  her  body,  leaving  it  naked ! 

The  men  who  did  this  deed  belonged  to  Company  B  of  tho 
Seventh  Iowa  Cavalry. 

The  outrage  was  promptly  reported  to  the  Department,  and 
the  general  commanding  the  Nebraska  District  detailed  an 
officer  to  examine  into  it.  There  was  some  correspondence  be- 
tween the  military  authorities  relative  to  it,  but  with  no  result ; 
and  in  the  report  of  the  next  year  tho  Indian  Commissioner 
says :  "  Attention  was  called  last  year  to  the  fact  that  the  mur- 
derers of  several  of  this  loyal  and  friendly  tribe  had  not  boon 
discovered  and  punished.  I  trust  that,  as  there  secins  to  be  no 
probability  that  this  will  be  done,  a  special  appropriation  may 
be  made  for  presents  to  the  relatives  of  the  deceased." 

In  1865  a  supplementary  treaty  was  made  with  the  Poncas, 
extending  their  reservation  down  the  Niobrara  to  the  Missouri 
River;  and  tho  Government  agreed  to  pay  them  $15,000,  for 
tho  purpose  of  indemnifying  them  for  tho  loss  they  had  sus- 
tained in  this  outrage  and  in  others.  For  the  ratification  t.f 

THE  PONCAS.  195 

this  treaty  also  they  waited  two  years ;  and  in  1867  the  Super- 
intendent of  the  Dakota  Territory  says  :  "  Schools  would  have 
been  in  operation  at  the  Ponca  Agency  hefore  this  time  but  for 
the  long  delay  in  ratifying  the  supplementary  treaty  of  1865 ; 
and  now  that  this  measure  has  fortunately  been  accomplished, 
there  can  be  no  further  necessity  for  delay,  and  it  is  confidently 
believed  another  year  will  witness  the  foundation  and  rapid 
progress  of  an  English  school  at  this  agency." 

This  superintendent,  having  been  in  office  only  one  year,  was 
probably  not  familiar  with  the  provisions  of  the  treaty  of  1859 
with  the  Poncas,  in  which,  by  Article  three,  the  United  States 
Government  had  promised  "to  establish  and  maintain  for -ten 
years,. at  an  annual  expense  not  to  exceed  $5,000,  one  or  more 
manual  labor  schools  for  the  education  and  training  of  the  Ponca 
youth  in  letters,  agriculture,  mechanics,  and  housewifery." 

This  educational  annuity  has  but  one  more  year  to  run, 
whatever  may  have  been  done  with  it  up  to  this  time,  it  really 
is  now  being  spent  on  schools,  and  it  seems  a  great  pity  that 
it  should  soon  cease.  The  Governor  of  Dakota,  in  1868,  evi- 
dently thinks  so  too,  for  he  writes  to  the  Department,  in  the 
autumn  of  1868  :  "  A  school  has  been  in  successful  operation 
at  this  agency  (the  Ponca)  for  the  past  nine  months,  with  an 
average  attendance  of  about  fifty  scholars,  and  with  every  evi- 
dence of  advancement  in  the  primary  department  of  an  English 
education.  Bat  just  at  this  interesting  period  of  its  existence 
we  are  notified  by  the  agent  that  with  this  fiscal  year  all  funds 
for  school  as  well  as  for  agricultural  purposes  cease,  agreeably 
to  the  terms  and  conditions  of  their  original  treaty.  This  will 
be  a  serious  and  irreparable  calamity  if  not  remedied  by  the 
most  generous  action  of  the  Government.  If  funds  for  this 
purpose  cannot  be  otherwise  procured,  the  Poncas  are  willing 
and  anxious  to  transfer  their  old  reservation  to  the  Government 
for  a  moderate  extension  of  these  important  and  indispensable 


The  governor  also  says  that  in  the  past  year  the  Poncas  have  • 
paid  out  of  their  annuity  money  for  all  the  improvements  which 
had  been^made  on  lands  occupied  by  certain  white  settlers,  who 
were  ejected  from  their  new  reservation  by  the  terms  of  the  last 

In  the  report  for  1869  we  read  that  the  Ponca  school  has 
been  "  discontinued  for  want  of  funds."  The  Department  ear- 
nestly recommends  an  appropriation  of  $25,000  to  put  it  in 
operation  again.  The  now  Governor  of  Dakota  seconds  the 
recommendation,  and  regrets  to  say  that,  "for  the  enlighten- 
ment of  the  35,000  Indians  embraced  in  the  Dakota  Snporin- 
tendency,  there  is  not  one  school  in  operation." 

In  1870  an  appropriation  of  $5,000  was  made  by  the  Depart- 
ment from  a  general  educational  fund,  for  the  purpose  of  re- 
suming this  school.  The  condition  of  the  Poncas  now  is,  on 
the  whole,  encouraging ;  they  are  "  not  only  willing,  but  ex- 
tremely anxious  to  learn  the  arts  by  which  they  may  become 
self-supporting,  and  conform  to  the  usages  of  white  men.  With 
the  comparatively  small  advantages  that  have  been  afforded 
them,  their  advancement  has  "been  very  great." 

In  the  summer  of  1869  they  built  for  themselves  sixteen 
very  comfortable  log-houses ;  in  the  summer  of  1870  they  built 
forty-four  more ;  with  their  annuity  money  they  bought  cook- 
stoves,  cows,  and  useful  implements  of  labor.  They  worked 
most  assiduously  in  putting  in  their  crops,  but  lost  them  all 
by  drought,  and  are  in  real  danger  of  starvation  if  the  Govern- 
ment does  not  assist  them.  All  this  while  they  see  herds  of 
cattle  driven  across  their  reservation  to  feed  the  lately  hostile 
Sioux — flour,  coffee,  sugar,  tobacco,  by  the  wagon-load,  distrib- 
uted to  them — while  their  own  always  peaceable,  always  loyal, 
long-suffering  tribe  is  digging  wild  roots  to  cat,  and  in  actual 
danger  of  starvation.  Nevertheless  they  are  not  discouraged, 
knowing  that  but  for  the  drought  they  would  have  had  ample 
food  from  their  farins;  and  they  make  no  attempts  to  retaliate 

THE  POKCAS.  197 

on  the  Sioux  for  raiding  off  their  horses  and  stock,  because 
they  hope  "that  the  Government  will  keep  its  faith  with 
them,"  and  that  suitable  remuneration  for  these  losses  will  be 
made  them,  according  to  the  treaty  stipulations. 

For  the  next  two  years  they  worked  industriously  and  well ; 
three  schools  were  established  j  a  chapel  was  built  by  the  Epis- 
copal mission ;  the  village  began  to  assume  the  appearance  of 
permanence  and  thrift;  but  misfortune  had  not  yet  parted 
company  with  the  Poncas.  In  the  summer  of  1873  the  Mis- 
souri River  suddenly  overflowed,  washed  away  its  banks  ^rmn- 
dreds  of  yards  back,  and  entirely  ruined  the  Ponca  village. 
By  working  night  and  day  for  two  weeks  the  Indians  saved 
most  of  the  buildings,  carrying  them  half  a  mile  inland  to  be 
sure  of  safety.  The  site  of  their  village  became  the  bed  of  the 
main  channel  of  the  river  \  their  cornfields  were  ruined,  and 
the  lands  for  miles  in  every  direction  washed  and  torn  up  by 
the  floods. 

"  For  nearly  two  weeks,"  the  agent  writes,  "  the  work  of  sal- 
vage from  the  ever-threatening  destruction  occupied  our  whole 
available  force  night  and  day.  We  succeeded  in  carrying  from 
the  river  bank  to  near  half  a  mile  inland  the  whole  of  the 
agency  buildings,  mechanics'  houses,  stabling,  and  sheds — 
more  than  twenty  houses — nearly  every  panel  of  fencing. 
The  Poncas  worked  well  and  long,  often  through  the  night ; 
and  the  fact  that  the  disaster  did  not  cost  us  ten  dollars  of  act- 
ual loss  is  to  be  attributed  to  their  labor,  continuous  and  per- 
severing— working  sometimes  over  the  swiftly-flowing  waters, 
terrible  and  turbid,  on  the  edge  of  the  newly-formed  current 
but  a  few  inches  below  them,  and  into  which  a  fall  would  have 
been  certain  death,  even  for  an  Indian." 

In  one  year  after  this  disaster  they  had  recovered  themselves 
marvellously;  built  twenty  new  houses ;  owned  over  a  hundred 
head  of  cattle  and  fifty  wagons,  and  put  three  hundred  acres  of 
land  under  cultivation  (about  three  acres  to  each  male  in  the 


tribe).  But  this  year  was  not  to  close  without  a  disaster. 
First  came  a  drought ;  then  three  visitations  of  locusts,  one 
after  the  other,  which  so  completely  stripped  the  fields  that 
"nothing  was  left  but  a  few  prematurely  dry  stalks  and 
straw."  One  hundred  young  trees  which  had  been  set  out — 
box-elder,  soft  maple,  and  others — withered  and  died. 

In  1875  the  locusts  came  again,  destroyed  the  corn  and  oats, 
but  left  the  wheat.  Much  of  this  crop,  however,  was  lost,  as 
there  was  only  ono  reaping-machine  on  the  agency,  and  it 
could  not  do  all  of  the  work.  Many  of  the  Indians  saved  a 
part  of  their  crop  by  cutting  it  with  large  butcher-knives ;  but 
this  was  slow,  and  much  of  the  wheat  dried  up  and  perished 
before  it  could  bo  harvested  by  this  tedious  process. 

This  year  was  also  marked  by  a  flagrant  instance  of  the 
helplessness  of  Indians  in  the  courts.  Two  Poncas  wore  way- 
laid by  a  party  of  Santees,  one  of  the  Poncas  murdered,  and 
the  other  seriously  wounded.  This  occurred  at  tho  Yankton 
Agency,  where  both  parties  wore  visiting.  When  tho  case  was 
brought  up  before  the  courts,  a  motion  was  made  to  quash  the 
indictment  for  want  of  jurisdiction,  and  the  judge  was  obliged 
to  sustain  the  motion,  there  being  under  the  present  laws  no 
jurisdiction  whatever  "  over  crimes  committed  by  one  Indian 
on  the  person  or  property  of  another  Indian  in  the  Indian 

In  1876  the  project  of  consolidating  all  the  Indians  in  the 
United  States  upon  a  few  reservations  began  to  bo  discussed 
and  urged.  If  this  plan  were  carried  out,  it  would  bo  tho 
destiny  of  the  Poncas  to  go  to  tho  Indian  Territory.  It  waa 
very  gratuitously  assumed  that,  as  they  had  been  anxious  to 
be  allowed  to  remove  to  Nebraska  and  join  tho  Omalias,  thej 
would  be  equally  ready  to  remove  to  Indian  Territory — a 
process  of  reasoning  whose  absurdity  would  be  very  plainly 
seen  if  it  were  attempted  to  apply  it  in  the  case  of  white  inon. 

After  a  series  of  negotiations,  protestations,  delays,  and  be- 

POKCAS.  199 

wilderroents,  tlie  tribe  at  last  gave  what  tlie  United  States  Gov- 
ernment chose  to  call  a  "  consent "  to  the  removal.  The  story 
of  the  influences,  deceits,  coercions  "brought  to  bear  on  these 
unfortunate  creatures  before  this  was  brought  about,  is  one  of 
the  most  harrowing  among  the  harrowing  records  of  our  deal- 
ings with  the  Indians.  A  party  of  chiefs  were  induced,  in  the 
first  place,  to  go,  in  company  with  a  United  States  inspector — 
Kemble  by  name — to  the  Indian  Territory,  to  see  whether  the 
country  would  suit  them.  It  was  distinctly  promised  to  them 
that,  if  it  did  not  suit  them,  they  should  then  be  permitted  to 
go  to  Washington  and  consult  with  the  President  as  to  some 
further  plan  for  their  establishment. 

The  story  of  this  journey  and  of  its  results  is  best  told  in 
the  words  of  one  of  the  Ponca  chiefs,  Standing  Bear.  No  of- 
ficial document,  no  other  man's  narrative — no,  not  if  a  second 
Homer  should  arise  to  sing  it— could  tell  the  story  so  well  as 
he  tells  it : 

"  We  lived  on  our  land  as  long  as  we  can  remember.  No 
one  knows  how  long  ago  we  came  there.  The  land  was  owned 
by  our  tribe  as  far  back  as  memory  of  men  goes. 

"  We  were  living  quietly  on  our  farms.  All  of  a  sudden 
one  white  man  came.  We  had  no  idea  what  for.  This  was 
the  inspector.  He  came  to  our  tribe  with  Eev.  Mr.  Hinman. 
These  two,  with  the  agent,  James  Lawrence,  they  made  our 

"  They  said  the  President  told  us  to  pack  up — that  we  must 
move  to  the  Indian  Territory. 

"  The  inspector  said  to  us :  '  The  President  says  you  must 
sell  this  land.  He'  will  buy  it  and  pay  you  the  money,  and  give 
you  new  land  in  the  Indian  Territory.' 

"  We  said  to  him :  '  We  do  not  know  your  authority.  You 
have  no  right  to  move  us  till  we  have  had  council  with  the 

u  We  said  to  him :  '  When  two  persons  wish  to  make  a  bar 


gain,  they  can  talk  together  and  find  out  what  each  wants,  and 
then  make  their  agreement.7 

"  We  said  to  him  :  i  We  do  not  wish  to  go.  When  a  man 
owns  anything,  he  does  not  let  it  go  till  he  has  received  pay- 
ment for  it/ 

"  We  said  to  him :  '  We  will  see  the  President  first.' 

" He  said  to  us  :  'I  will  take  you  to  see  the  new  land.  If 
you  like  it,  then  you  can  see  the  President,  and  tell  him  so.  If 
not,  then  you  can  see  him  and  tell  him  so.'  And  he  took  all 
ten  of  our  chiefs  down.  I  went,  and  Bright  Eyes'  uncle  went. 
He  took  us  to  look  at  three  different  pieces  of  land.  Ho  said 
we  must  take  one  of  the  three  pieces,  so  the  President  said. 
After  he  took  us  down  there  he  said : '  No  pay  for  the  land  you 

"  We  said  to  him :  '  You  have  forgotten  -what  you  said  be- 
fore we  started.  You  said  we  should  have  pay  for  our  land. 
Now  you  say  not.  You  told  us  then  you  were  speaking  truth.' 
All  these  three  men  took  us  down  there.  The  man  got  very 
angry.  He  tried  to  compel  us  to  take  one  of  the  three  pieces 
of  land.  He  told  us  to  bo  bravo.  Ho  said  to  us  :  '  If  you  do 
not  accept  these,  I  will  leave  you  here  alone.  You  are  one 
thousand  miles  from  home.  You  have  no  money.  You  have 
no  interpreter,  and  you  cannot  speak  the  language.1  And  ho 
went  out  and  slammed  the  door.  The  man  talked  to  us  from 
long  before  sundown  till  it  was  nine  o'clock  at  night. 

"  We  said  to  him  :  '  We  do  not  like  this  land.  We  could 
not  support  ourselves.  The  water  is  bad.  Now  send  us  to 
Washington,  to  toll  the  President,  as  you  promised.' 

"He  said  to  us :  l  The  President  did  not  toll  me  to  take  you 
to  Washington ;  neither  did  ho  toll  mo  to  take  you  home.' 

"  We  said  to  him :  '  You  have  the  Indian  money  you  took 
to  bring  us  down  here.  That  money  belongs  to  us.  We  would 
like  to  have  some  of  it.  People  do  not  give  away  food  for 
nothing.  We  must  have  money  to  buy  food  on  the  road.' 

THE  PONCAS.  201 

" He  said  to  us  :  'I  will  not  give  you  a  cent.' 

"  We  said  to  him  :  '  We  are  in  a  strange  country.  We  can- 
not find  our  way  home.  Give  us  a  pass,  that  people  may  show 
us  our  way.' 

"  He  said :  c  I  will  not  give  you  any.' 

"  We  said  to  him  :  '  This  interpreter  is  ours.  We  pay  him. 
Let  him  go  with  us.' 

"  He  said :  '  You  shall  not  have  the  interpreter.  He  is  mine, 
and  not  yours.' 

"  We  said  to  him :  '  Take  us  at  least  to  the  railroad ;  show 
us  the  way  to  that.' 

"  And  he  would  not.  He  left  us  right  there.  It  was  winter. 
We  started  for  home  on  foot.  At  night  we  slept  in  hay-stacks. 
We  harely  lived  till  morning,  it  was  so  cold.  We  had  nothing 
but  our  hlankets.  We  took  the  ears  of  corn  that  had  dried  in 
the  fields ;  we  ate  it  raw.  The  soles  of  our  moccasins  wore 
out.  We  were  barefoot  in  the  snow.  We  were  nearly  dead 
when  we  reached  the  Otoe  Eeserve.  It  had  been  fifty  days. 
We  stayed  there  ten  days  to  strengthen  up,  and  the  Otoes  gave 
each  of  us  a  pony.  The  agent  of  the  Otoes  told  us  he  had  re* 
ceived  a  telegram  from  the  inspector,  saying  that  the  Indian 
chiefs  had  run  away ;  not  to  give  us  food  or  shelter,  or  help  in 
any  way.  The  agent  said  :  'I  would  like  to  understand.  Tell 
me  all  that  has  happened.  Tell  me  the  truth.' " 

(This  Otoe  agent  afterward  said,  that  when  the  chiefs  en- 
tered his  room  they  left  the  prints  of  their  feet  in  blood  on  the 
floor  as  they  came  in.) 

"  Then  we  told  our  story  to  the  agent  and  to  the  Otoe  chiefs 
— how  we  had  been  left  down  there  to  find  our  way. 

"  The  agent  said  :  '  I  can  hardly  believe  it  possible  that  any 
one  could  have  treated  you  so.  That  inspector  was  a  poor  man 
to  have  done  this.  If  I  had  taken  chiefs  in  this  way,  I  would 
have  brought  them  home  ,•  I  could  not  have  left  them  there.' 

"  In  seven  days  we  reached  the  Omaha  Reservation.  Then 



we  sent  a  telegram  to  tho  President :  asked  him  if  he  had  au- 
thorized this  thing.  We  waited  three  days  for  the  answer. 
No  answer  came. 

"  In  four  days  we  reached  our  own  home.  "We  found  the 
inspector  there.  Wliile  we  were  gone,  he  had  corue  to  our  peo- 
ple and  told  them  to  move. 

"  Our  people  said  :  '  Where  are  our  chiefs  1  What  have  you 
done  with  them?  Why  have  you  not  "brought  them  back? 
We  will  not  move  till  our  chiefs  come  hack.' 

"  Then  the  inspector  told  them  :  c  To-morrow  you  must  he 
ready  to  move.  If  you  are  not  ready  you  will  ho  shot.'  Then 
the  soldiers  came  to  the  doors  with  their  bayonets,  and  ten 
families  were  frightened.  The  soldiers  brought  wagons ;  they 
put  their  things  in  and  were  carried  away.  Tho  rest  of  the 
tribe  would  not  move. 

"  When  we  got  there,  we  asked  the  inspector  why  ho  had 
done  this  thing,  and  he  got  very  angry. 

"  Then  we  said  to  him :  '  Wo  did  not  think  we  would  see 
your  face  again,  after  what  has  passed.  We  thought  never  to 
see  your  face  any  more.  But  here  you  are.' 

"We said  to  him:  'This  land  is  ours.  It  belongs  to  us. 
You  have  no  right  to  take  it  from  us.  Tho  laud  is  crowded 
with  people,  and  only  this  is  left  to  us.' 

"  We  said  to  him  :  '  Let  us  alone.  Oo  away  from  us.  If 
you  want  money,  take  all  the  money  which  the  President  is  to 
pay  us  for  twelve  years  to  come.  You  may  have  it  all,  if  you 
will  go  and  leave  us  our  lands.' 

"  Then,  when  ho  found  that  we  would  not  go,  ho  wrote  for 
more  soldiers  to  come. 

"  Then  tho  soldiers  came,  and  wo  locked  our  doors,  and  the 
women  and  children  hid  in  the  woods.  Then  tho  soldiers 
drove  all  the  people  the  other  side  of  tho  river,  all  hut  my 
brother  Big  Snake  and  I.  We  did  not  go  ;  and  tho  soldiers 
took  us  and  earned  us  away  to  a  fort  and  put  us  in  juiL 

THE  PONCAS.  203 

There  were  eight  officers  who  held  council  with  us  after  we 
got  there.  The  commanding  officer  said:  *I  have  received 
four  messages  telling  me  to  send  my  soldiers  after  you.  Now, 
what  have  you  done  1 ' 

"  Then  we  told  him  the  whole  story.  Then  the  officer  said : 
*  You  have  done  no  wrong.  The  land  is  yours ;  they  had  no 
right  to  take  it  from  you.  Your  title  is  good.  I  am  here  to 
protect  the  weak,  and  I  have  no  right  to  take  you;  but  I  am 
a  soldier,  and  I  have  to  obey  orders.' 

"  He  said :  '  I  will  telegraph  to  the  President,  and  ask  him 
what  I  shall  do.  We  do  not  think  these  three  men  had  any 
authority  to  treat  yon  as  they  have  done.  When  we  own  a 
piece  of  land,  it  belongs  to  us  till  we  seU  it  and  pocket  the 

"Then  he  brought  a  telegram,  and  said  he  had  received  an- 
swer from  the  President.  The  President  said  he  knew  nothing 
about  it. 

"  They  kept  us  in  jail  ten  days.  Then  they  carried  us  back 
to  ottr  home.  The  soldiers  collected  all  the  women  and  chil- 
dren together  •  then  they  called  all  the  chiefs  together  in  coun- 
cil; and  then  they  took  wagons  and  went  round  and  broke 
open  the  houses.  When  we  came  back  from  the  council  we 
found  the  women  and  children  surrounded  by  a  guard  of  sol- 

"  They  took  our  reapers,  mowers,  hay-rakes,  spades,  ploughs, 
bedsteads,  stoves,  cupboards,  everything  we  had  on  our  farms, 
and  put  them  in  one  large  building.  Then  they  put  into  the 
wagons  such  things  as  they  could  carry.  We  told  them  that 
we  would  rather  die  than  leave  our  lands ;  but  we  could  not 
help  ourselves.  They  took  us  down.  Many  died  on  the  road. 
Two  of  my  children  died.  After  we  reached  the  new  land,  all 
my  horses  died.  The  water  was  very  bad.  All  our  cattle 
died ;  not  one  was  left.  I  stayed  till  one  hundred  and  fifty- 
eight  of  my  people  had  died.  Then  I  ran  away  with  thirty  of 


my  people,  men  and  women  and  children.  Some  of  the  chil- 
dren were  orphans.  We  were  three  months  on  the  road.  We 
•were  weak  and  sick  and  starved.  When  we  reached  the  Omaha 
Eeserve  the  Omahas  gave  us  a  piece  of  land,  and  we  were  in  a 
hurry  to  plough  it  and  put  in  wheat.  While  we  were  working 
the  soldiers  came  and  arrested  us.  Half  of  us  were  sick.  We 
would  rather  have  died  than  have  heen  carried  back ;  hut  we 
could  not  help  ourselves." 

Nevertheless  they  were  helped.  The  news  of  their  arrest, 
and  the  intention  of  the  Government  to  take  them  hack  by 
force  to  Indian  Territory,  roused  excitement  in  Omaha.  An 
Omaha  editor  and  two  Omaha  lawyers  determined  to  test  the 
question  whether  the  Government  had  a  legal  right  to  do  it. 
It  seemed  a  bold  thing,  almost  a  hopeless  thing,  to  undertake. 
It  has  passed  into  a  proverb  that  Providence  is  on  the  side 
of  the  heaviest  battalions :  the  oppressed  and  enslaved  in  all 
ages  have  felt  this.  But  there  are  times  when  a  simple  writ  of 
habeas  corpus  is  stronger  than  cannon  or  blood-hounds ;  and 
this  was  one  of  these  times.  Brought  into  the  District  Court 
of  the  United  States  for  the  District  of  Nebraska,  those  Poncas 
were  set  free  by  the  judge  of  that  court.  Will  not  the  name 
of  Judge  Dundy  stand  side  by  side  with  that  of  Abraham 
^Lincoln  in  the  matter  of  Emancipation  Acts? 

The  Government  attorney,  the  Hon.  G.  M.  Lambortson,  made 
an  argument  five  hours  long,  said  to  have  been  both  "ingenious 
and  eloquent,"  to  prove  that  an  Indian  was  not  entitled  to  the 
protection  of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus,  "  not  being  a  person 
or  citizen  iindor  the  law." 

Judge  Dundy  took  several  days  to  consider  the  case,  and 
gave  a  decision  which  strikes  straight  to  the  root  of  the  whole 
matter — a  decision  which,  when  it  is  enforced  throughout  our 
land,  will  take  tho  ground  out  from  under  tho  feet  of  the  horde 
of  unscrupulous  thieves  who  have  been  robbing,  oppressing, 
and  maddening  the  Indians  for  so  long,  that  to  try  to  unniask 

THE  PONCAS.  205 

and  expose  their  processes,  or  to  make  clean  their  methods,  is 
a  task  before  which  hundreds  of  good  men— nay,  whole  de- 
nominations of  good  men— disheartened,  baffled,  and  worn- 
out,  have  given  up. 

When  Standing  Bear  found  that  by  the  decision  of  Judge 
Dundy  he  was  really  a  free  man,  and  could  go  where  he 
pleased,  he  made  a  speech  which  should  never  be  forgotten  or 
left  out  in  the  history  of  the  dealings  of  the  United  States 
Government  with  the  Indians. 

After  a  touching  expression  of  gratitude  to  the  lawyers  who 
had  pleaded  his  cause,  he  said :  "  Hitherto,  when  we  have  been 
wronged,  we  went  to  war  to  assert  our  rights  and  avenge  our 
wrongs.  We  took  the  tomahawk.  We  had  no  law  to  punish 
those  who  did  wrong,  so  we  took  our  tomahawks  and  went  to 
kill.  If  they  had  guns  and  could  kill  us  first,  it  was  the  fate 
of  war.  But  you  have  found  a  better  way.  You  have  gone 
into  the  court  for  us,  and  I  find  that  our  wrongs  can  be  righted 
there.  Now  I  have  no  more  use  for  the  tomahawk.  I  want 
to  lay  it  down  forever." 

Uttering  these  words  with  eloquent  impressiveness,  the  old 
chief,  stooping  down,  placed  the  tomahawk  on  the  floor  at  his 
feet ;  then,  standing  erect,  he  folded  his  arms  with  native  dig- 
nity, and  continued  :  "  I  lay  it  down.  I  have  no  more  use  for 
it.  I  have  found  a  better  way." 

Stooping  again  and  taking  up  the  weapon,  he  placed  it  in 
Mr.  Webster's  hands,  and  said :  "  I  present  it  to  you  as  a 
token  of  my  gratitude.  I  want  you  to  keep  it  in  remembrance 
of  this  great  victory  which  you  have  gained,  I  have  no  further 
use  for  it.  I  can  now  seek  the  ways  of  peace." 

The  first  use  that  Standing  Bear  made  of  his  freedom  was 
to  endeavor  to  procure  the  freedom  of  his  tribe,  and  establish 
their  legal  right  to  their  old  home  in  Dakota.  Accompanied 
by  a  young  and  well-educated  Omaha  girl  and  her  brother  aa 
interpreters,  and  by  Mr.  Tibbies,  the  champion  and  friend  t<r 


whom  he  owed  his  freedom,  he  went  to  the  Eastern  States,  and 
told  the  story  of  the  sufferings  and  wrongs  of  his  tribe  to  largo 
audiences  in  many  of  the  larger  cities  and  towns.  Money  was 
generously  subscribed  everywhere  for  the  purpose  of  bringing 
suits  to  test  the  question  of  the  Poncas'  legal  right  to  the  lands 
which  the  United  States  Government  had  by  treaty  ceded  to 
them  in  specified  "townships,"  thus  giving  to  them  the  same 
sort  of  title  which  would  be  given  to  any  corporation  or  in- 

Yery  soon  this  movement  of  Standing  Bear  and  his  com- 
panions began  to  produce  on  the  community  a  strong  effect, 
shown  by  the  interest  in  their  public  meetings,  and  by  expres- 
sions of  strong  feeling  in  the  newspapers.  This  attracted  the 
attention  of  the  authorities  at  Washington.  Letters  were  pub- 
lished contradicting  many  of  Standing  Bearrs  assertions  j  state- 
ments were  circulated  injurious  to  the  reputation  of  all  mem- 
bers of  the  party.  A  careful  observer  of  the  whole  course  of 
the  Department  of  the  Interior  in  this  matter  could  not  fail  to 
come  to  the  conclusion  that  for  some  mysterious,  unexplained, 
and  unexplainable  reason  the  Department  did  not  wish — in 
fact,  was  unwilling — that  the  Ponca  tribe  should  be  rein- 
stated on  its  lands.  Discussions  on  the  matter  grew  warm.  The 
inspector  who  had  been  concerned  in  their  removal  published 
long  letters  reflecting  equally  on  the  veracity  of  Standing  Bear 
and  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior.  Standing  Bear  replied 
in  a  few  pithy  words,  which  were  conclusive  in  their  proving 
of  the  falsity  of  some  of  the  inspector's  statements.  The  Secre- 
tary, also,  did  not  think  it  beneath  his  dignity  to  reply  in 
successive  newspaper  articles  to  the  inspector's  reflections  upon 
him ;  but  the  only  thing  that  was  made  clear  by  this  means 
was  that  either  the  Secretary  or  the  inspector,  or  both,  said 
what  was  not  true. 

In  Boston  the  interest  in  the  Ponca  case  reached  such  a 
height  that  a  committee  was  appointed  to  represent  the  case  in 

THE   PONCAS.  207 

Washington,  and  to  secure  legislation  upon  it.  Standing  Bear 
and  his  party  went  to  Washington,  and,  in  spite  of  the  secret 
hostility  of  the  Interior  Department,  produced  a  powerful  im- 
pression upon  Congress.  Senator  Dawes,  of  Massachusetts,  and 
Senator  Morgan,  of  Alabama,  both  became  warm  advocates  of 
their  cause.  The  subject  once  started,  case  after  case  came  up 
for  investigation ;  and  the  Congressional  committees  called  for 
evidence  in  regard  to  several  of  the  more  striking  instances  of 
injustice  to  Indians. 

White  Eagle,  one  of  the  Ponca  chiefs,  who  had  lost  his  wife 
and  four  children,  and  who  was  himself  fast  sinking  under  dis- 
ease developed  by  the  malarial  Indian  Territory,  canie  to  Wash- 
ington and  gave  eloquent  testimony  in  behalf  of  his  tribe.  The 
physicians  there  predicted  that  he  had  not  three  months  to  live. 
A  bill  was  introduced  into  Congress  for  restoring  to  the  Poncas 
their  old  reservation  in  Dakota,  and  putting  their  houses,  farms, 
etc.,  in  the  same  good  condition  they  were  at  the  time  of  their 

The  story  of  that  removal  was  written  out  in  full  at  the 
time  by  the  agent  who  superintended  it.  That  he  should  for- 
ward this  report  to  the  Department  of  the  Interior  was  nat- 
ural; but  that  the  Department  of  the  Interior  should  have 
been  willing  to  publish  it  to  the  country,  to  have  it  on  the 
official  record  of  its  management  of  Indian  affairs  for  the  year 
1877,  is  strange.  It  will  make  a  fitting  conclusion  to  this 
sketch  of  the  history  of  the  Ponca  tribe.  The  name  of  this 
agent  was  E.  A.  Howard.  He  calls  the  report  "  Journal  of  the 

"May  2Ist.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  marched  to 
Crayton,  a  distance  of  thirteen  miles.  Eoads  very  heavy.  The 
child  that  died  yesterday  was  here  buried  by  the  Indians,  they 
preferring  to  bury  it  than  to  have  it  buried  by  the  white 

"May  22d  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  marched  to 


Neligh,  a  distance  of  about  twenty-five  miles.  The  day  was 
cool,  and,  the  road  being  high  and  comparatively  good,  the 
travel  was  made  -without  much  inconvenience. 

" May  23d.  The  morning  opened  with  light  rain;  but  at 
eight  o'clock  a  terrific  thunder-storm  occurred  of  two  hours' 
duration,  which  was  followed  by  steady  rain  throughout  the 
day,  in  consequence  of  which  we  remained  in  camp.  During 
the  day  a  child  died,  and  several  women  and  children  were 
reported  sick,  and  medical  attendance  and  medicine  were  pro- 
cured for  them. 

"May  24$.  Buried  the  child  that  died  yesterday  in  the 
cemetery  at  Neligh,  giving  it  a  Christian  burial.  Broke  camp 
at  ten  o'clock  and  marched  about  eight  miles,  crossing  the  Elk- 
horn  Eiver  about  two  miles  below  Oakdale  Village.  Were  un- 
able to  cross  at  Neligh,  the  road  being  about  two  feet  under 
water  and  the  bridges  being  washed  away.  The  road  was  fear- 
fully bad,  and  much  time  and  labor  were  expended  in  making 
the  road  and  bridges  at  all  passable  over  the  Elk-horn  flats, 
where  the  crossing  was  effected. 

"  May  25$.  Broke  camp  at  six  o'clock  and  marched  twenty 
miles,  to  a  point  on  Shell  Creek.  No  wood  at  this  place,  and 
none  to  be  had  except  what  little  had  been  picked  up  and 
brought  in  by  the  trains.  Weather  cold,  damp,  and  dreary. 
The  Indians  during  the  day  behaved  well,  and  marched  splen- 

"  May  26$.  The  morning  opened  with  a  heavy  continuous 
rain,  which  prevailed  until  ten  o'clock.  Broke  camp  at  eleven 
o'clock  and  marched  eight  miles  farther  down  Shell  Creek, 
when  it  again  commenced  raining,  and  wo  went  into  camp. 
The  evening  set  in  cold  and  rainy,  and  no  wood  to  be  had  ex- 
cept what  was  purchased  of  a  settler. 

"  May  27$.  The  morning  opened  cold,  with  a  misty  rain. 
Eain  ceased  at  half-past  seven  o'clock,  and  we  broke  camp  at 
eight  and  marched  eight  miles  farther  down  Shell  Creek,  when, 

THE  P02STCAS.  209 

a  heavy  thunder-storm  coming  on,  we  again  went  into  camp. 
Several  of  the  Indians  were  here  found  to  be  quite  sick,  and 
having  no  physician,  and  none  being  attainable,  they  gave  us 
much  anxiety  and  no  little  trouble.  The  daughter  of  Standing 
Bear,  one  of  the  chiefs,  was  very  low  of  consumption,  and  mov- 
ing her  with  any  degree  of  comfort  was  almost  impossible,  and 
the  same  trouble  existed  in  transporting  all  the  sick. 

"  May  28^.  Last  evening  I  gave  orders  to  break  camp  at 
five  o'clock  this  morning,  intending,  if  practicable,  to  reach  Co- 
lumbus  before  night ;  but  a  heavy  thunder-storm  prevailed  at 
that  time.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock.  Marched  seven  miles, 
when  we  came  to  a  slough  confluent  to  Shell  Creek,  which  was 
only  made  passable  after  two  hours  of  active  work  in  cutting 
willow-brush  and  bringing  a  large  quantity  of  wheat  straw  from 
a  distance  of  thirty  rods,  with  which  we  covered  the  road  thickly. 
After  crossing  the  slough  we  marched  to  a  point  on  Shell  Creek 
and  camped,  having  made  about  fourteen  miles  during  the  day. 

"  May  29^.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  crossed  Shell 
Creek.  For  about  five  miles  the  road  led  over  a  divide,  and 
was  quite  good ;  but  in  coming  down  on  the  flats,  which  ex- 
tended for  five  miles  between  the  Bluffs  and  Columbus,  we 
found  the  roads  for  the  entire  distance  almost  impassable,  ow- 
ing to  the  many  deep,  miry  sloughs  which  cross  the  road,  and 
the  generally  flooded  and  yielding  condition  of  the  soil  aside 
from  the  sloughs.  Teams  had  to  be  frequently  doubled,  in 
order  to  get  the  wagons  through.  The  difficulties  were  finally 
overcome,  and  the  train  marched  into  Columbus  at  two  o'clock, 
and  went  into  camp  at  Soap  Fork,  having  made  a  march  of 
about  ten  miles,  the  march  of  five  miles  across  the  flats  occu- . 
pying  about  seven  hours.  Major  Walker,  who  had  accompanied 
us  from  the  Niobrara  Eiver  to  this  place  with  twenty-five  sol- 
diers, under  orders  from  the  War  Department,  took  leave  of  us, 
and  returned  to  Dakota." 

It  was  asserted  again  and  again  by  the  Secretary  of  the  In- 



terior,  and  by  the  inspector,  E.  C.  Kemble,  that  these  Indians 
were  not  removed  by  force — that  they  consented  to  go. 

In  another  part  of  this  same  report  this  agent  says  : 

"On  the  15th "(six  days  before  the  "march"  began)  "I 
held  another  council,  which  was  largely  attended  by  the  chiefs, 
headmen,  and  soldiers  of  the  tribe,  and  which  was  of  more  than 
four  hours'  duration.  At  this  council  the  Indians  maintained 
that  the  Government  had  no  right  to  move  them  from  the  res- 
ervation, and  demanded,  as  an  inducement  or  equivalent  for 
them  to  give  up  the  reservation  and  move  to  the  Indian  Terri- 
tory— first,  the  payment  to  them  by  the  Government  of  the 
sum  of  $3,000,000  \  and,  second,  that,  before  starting,  I  should 
show  to  them  the  sum  of  $40,000  which  they  had  been  told 
had  been  appropriated  by  the  Government  for  their  removal. 
To  all  of  which  I  replied  positively  in  the  negative,  telling 
them  that  I  would  not  accede  to  nor  consider  any  demands 
that  they  might  make ;  but  that  I  would  take  under  my  con- 
sideration reasonable  requests  that  they  might  submit  touching 
their  removal,  and,  as  their  agent,  do  what  I  could  for  them  in 
promoting  their  welfare }  that  I  demanded  that  they  should  at 
all  times  listen  to  my  words  j  that  they  should  go  with  me  to 
their  new  home  \  and  that  they  should  without  delay  give  me 
their  final  answer  whether  they  would  go  peaceably  or  by  force. 
The  Indians  refused  to  give  answer  at  this  time ;  the  council 
closed  without  definite  results ;  and  the  Indians  dispersed  with 
a  sullen  look  and  determined  expression." 

This  evidently  was  not  the  "  consent "  of  which  we  have 
heard.  We  come  to  it  presently. 

"On  the  following  morning,  however,  May  16th,  they  sent 
word  to  me,  at  an  early  hour,  that  they  had  considered  my 
words,  and  had  concluded  to  go  with  me,  and  that  they  wanted 
assistance  in  getting  the  old  and  infirm,  together  with  their 
property,  over  the  Niobrara  Eiver,  which  was  much  swollen  by 
the  rains  and  at  a  low  temperature." 


-  "What  a  night  must  these  helpless  creatures  have  passed  be- 
fore this  "  consent "  was  given !  Seven  hundred  people,  more 
than  half  of  them  women  and  children ;  a  farming  people,  not 
armed  with  rifles,  as  the  Ogallalla  Sioux  were,  when,  one  year 
later,  on  this  same  ground,  the  Chief  Spotted  Tail  told  Com- 
missioner Hayt  that,  if  he  did  not  give  an  order  to  have  his 
tribe  on  the  way  back  to  White  Clay  Creek  in  ten  days,  his 
young  men  would  go  on  the  war-path  at  once  j  and  the  much- 
terrified  commissioner  wrote  the  order  then  and  there,  and  the 
Sioux  were  allowed  to  go  where  they  had  chosen  to  go.  Be- 
hold the  difference  between  the  way  our  Government  treats 
the  powerful  and  treats  the  weak !  What  could  these  Ponca 
farmers  do?  They  must,  "without  delay,"  give  their  "final 
answer  whether  they  would  go  peaceably  or  by  force"  What 
did  "by  force"  mean?  It  was  "by  force"  that  the  Govern- 
ment undertook  to  compel  the  Cheyennes  to  go  to  Indian 
Territory ;  and  in  that  Cheyenne  massacre  the  Cheyenne  men, 
women,  children,  and  babies  were  all  shot  down  together ! 

What  could  these  Ponca  farmers  do?  What  would  any 
father,  brother,  husband  have  done  under  the  circumstances? 
He  would  have  "consented"  to  go. 

The  agent,  as  was  wise,  took  them  at  their  word,  quickly, 
and  that  very  day,  "  at  five  o'clock  P.M.,  had  the  entire  tribe, 
with  their  effects,  across  the  river,  off  the  reservation,  and  in 
camp  in  Nebraska." 

The  agent  should  have  said,  "  with  part  of  their  effects,"  for 
it  was  only  a  part,  and  a  very  small  part,  that  this  helpless 
consenting  party  were  allowed  to  take  with  them.  All  their 
agricultural  implements  and  most  of  their  furniture  were  left 

"  It  was  a  hard  day's  work,"  the  getting  the  tribe  and  their 
"effects"  across  the  river,  the  agent  says;  "the  river  being 
about  forty  rods  wide,  and  the  current  so  swift  that  it  was 
found  impossible  to  move  the  goods  across  in  any  other  way 


than  by  packing  them  on  the  shoulders  of  the  men,  the  quick- 
sand "bottom,  rendering  it  unsafe  to  trust  them  on  the  backs 
of  animals;  even  the  wagons  having  to  be  drawn  across  by 

Let  us  dwell  for  a  moment  on  this  picture.  Seven  hundred 
helpless,  heart-broken  people  beginning  their  sad  journey  by 
having  to  ford  this  icy  stream  with  quicksands  at  bottom. 
The  infirm,  the  sick,  the  old,  the  infants,  all  carried  "by  pack- 
ing them  on  the  shoulders  of  the  men ! "  What  a  scene !  The 
Honorable  Secretary  of  the  Interior  said,  in  one  of  the  letters 
in  his  newspaper  controversy  with  the  inspector  in  regard  to 
the  accounts  of  this  removal,  that  "  the  highly-colored  stories 
which  are  told  about  the  brutal  military  force  employed  in 
compelling  their  [the  Poncas']  removal  from  Dakota  to  the 
Indian  Territory  are  sensational  fabrications ;  at  least,  the  of- 
ficial record,  which  is  very  full,  and  goes  into  minute  details, 
does  not  in  the  least  bear  them  out." 

There  was  never  any  accusation  brought  against  the  "mili- 
tary force"  of  "brutality"  in  this  removal  The  brutality 
was  on  the  part  of  the  Government.  The  simple  presence 
of  the  "  military  force  "  was  brutal,  It  meant  but  one  thing. 
The  Indians  understood  it,  and  the  Government  intended  that 
they  should  understand  it ;  and  when  the  agent  of  the  Govern- 
ment said  to  these  Indians  that  they  must  give  him  their  "final 
answer  whether  they  would  go  peaceably  or  by  force/'  he  in- 
tended that  they  should  understand  it.  Has  anybody  any 
doubt  what  were  the  orders  under  which  that  "  military  force  " 
was  there  1  any  doubt  what  it  would  have  been  the  military 
duty  of  Major  Walker  to  have  done  in  case  the  Poncas  had 
refused  to  "consent"  to  go? 

And  now  let  us  return  to  the  "  Official  Becord,"  which  is, 
indeed,  as  the  Honorable  Secretary  of  the  Interior  says,  "very 
full,"  and  "  goes  into  minute  details,"  and  let  us  see  in  how 
much  it  will  "  bear  us  out  j "  and  when  we  have  done  with  this 

POtfCAS.  213 

"  Official  Record,"  let  us  ask  ourselves  if  any  imagination  could 
have  invented  so  "  highly-colored  "  a  "  story  "  as  it  tells. 

"  June  2d.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  marched  sev 
enteen  miles,  going  into  camp  near  Ulysses.  Eoads  in  bad 

"June  3d.  Had  some  trouble  in  getting  started.  Broke 
camp  at  eleven  o'clock  and  marched  eight  miles.  Went  into 
camp  on  Blue  Eiver.  Many  people  sick,  one  of  whom  was  re- 
ported in  a  dying  condition.  Had  bad  roads.  Rained  during 

"  June  teh.  Broke  camp  at  six  o'clock.  Marched  fifteen 
miles,  and  went  into  camp  on  Lincoln  Creek,  near  Seward. 

"  June  5th.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock.  Marched  four- 
teen miles,  and  went  into  camp  near  Milford.  Daughter  of 
Standing  Bear,  Ponca  chief,  died  at  two  o'clock,  of  consump- 

"  June  6th.  Eemained  in  camp  all  day,  for  the  purpose  of 
obtaining  supplies.  Prairie  Flower,  wife  of  Shines  White  and 
daughter  of  Standing  Bear,  who  died  yesterday,  was  here  given 
Christian  burial,  her  remains  being  deposited  in  the  cemetery  at 
Milford,  Nebraska,  a  small  village  on  Blue  River. 

"  In  this  connection  I  wish  to  take  official  knowledge  and 
recognition  of  the  noble  action  performed  by  the  ladies  of 
Milford,  in  preparing  and  decorating  the  body  of  the  deceased 
Indian  woman  for  burial  in  a  style  becoming  the  highest  civ- 
ilization. In  this  act  of  Christian  kindness  they  did  more  to 
ameliorate  the  grief  of  the  husband  and  father  than  they  could 
have  done  by  adopting  the  usual  course  of  this  untutored  peo- 
ple and  presenting  to  each  a  dozen  ponies.  It  was  here  that, 
looking  on  the  form  of  his  dead  daughter  thus  arrayed  for  the 
tomb,  Standing  Bear  was  led  to  forget  the  burial-service  of  his 
tribe,  and  say  to  those  around  him  that  he  was  desirous  of 
leaving  off  the  ways  of  the  Indian  and  adopting  those  of  the 
white  men. 


"June  1th.  Quite  a  heavy  rain  during  the  afternoon.  The 
storm,  most  disastrous  of  any  that  occurred  during  the  removal 
of  the  Poncas  under  my  charge,  canae  suddenly  upon  us  while 
in  camp  on  the  evening  of  this  day.  It  was  a  storm  such  as  I 
never  "before  experienced,  and  of  which  I  am  unable  to  give  an 
adequate  description.  The  wind  blew  a  fearful  tornado,  demol- 
ishing every  tent  in  camp,  and  rending  many  of  them  into 
shreds,  overturning  wagons,  and  hurling  wagon-boxes,  camp- 
equipages,  etc.,  through  the  air  in  every  direction  like  straws. 
Some  of  the  people  were  taken  tip  by  the  wind  and  carried  as 
much  as  three  hundred  yards.  'Several  of  the  Indians  were 
quite  seriously  hurt,  and  one  child  died  the  next  day  from  in- 
juries received,  and  was  given  Christian  burial.  The  storm 
caused  a  delay  until  the  8th  for  repairs,  and  for  medical  attend- 
ance upon  the  injured. 

"June  8th.  Broke  camp  at  Milford  and  marched  seven 
miles.  Eoads  very  bad.  Child  died  during  the  day. 

"  June  $th.  Put  the  child  that  died  yesterday  in  the  coffin 
and  sent  it  back  to  Milford,  to  be  buried  in  the  same  grave  with 
its  aunt,  Prairie  Flower.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and 
marched  to  within  three  miles  of  C^ete. 

"  June  10Z/L  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  marched  one 
mile  beyond  De  Witt,  where  I  employed  a  physician  to  visit 
camp  and  prescribe  for  the  sick.  A  woman  had  a  thumb  acci- 
dentally cut  off,  which  caused  further  commotion  in  the  camp. 

"June  12th.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  marched  to 
within  two  miles  of  Otoe  Agency.  Crossed  Wolf  Creek  with 
a  part  of  the  train,  the  crossing  being  very  difficult ;  but  the 
Indians  worked  splendidly." 

"  The  Indians  worked  splendidly !  "  Is  not  this  a  well-nigh 
incredible  record  of  patience  and  long-suffering  1  These  poor 
creatures,  marching  from  ten  to  twenty-five  miles  a  day,  for 
twenty-two  days,  through  muddy  sloughs,  swollen  rivers,  in 
tempests  and  floods  and  dreary  cold,  leaving  their  wives  and 

THE  PONOAS.  215 

their  children  dead  by  the  way — dead  of  the  sufferings  of  the 
march — are  yet  docile,  obedient,  and  "work  splendidly!" 

"June  I3th.  After  considerable  time  we  succeeded  in  build- 
ing a  bridge  over  Wolf  Creek  out  of  drift-timber,  and  suc- 
ceeded in  crossing  the  balance  of  the  train.  Broke  camp  and 
marched  three  miles,  and  went  into  camp  again  near  Otoe 

"  June  I4:tk.  Water-bound,  and  had  to  remain  in  camp  all 
day  waiting  for  creek  to  run  down.  The  Otoe  Indians  came 
out  to  see  the  Poncas,  and  gave  them  ten  ponies. 

"June  I5th.  Still  water-bound.    Kemained  in  camp  all  day. 

"June  16th.  Broke  camp  at  seven  o'clock  and  reached  Ha- 
rysville,  Kansas,  where  we  went  into  camp.  During  the  march 
a  wagon  tipped  over,  injuring  a  woman  quite  severely.  Indians 
out  of  rations,  and  feeling  hostile." 

What  wonder  that  the  Indians  felt  hostile  ?  Hunger  added 
to  all  the  rest  of  their  direful  misery ! 

"June  18th.  Broke  camp  at.  seven  o'clock.  Marched  nine 
miles  and  went  into  camp  at  Elm  Creek.  Little  Cottonwood 
died.  Four  families  determined  to  return  to  Dakota.  I  was 
obliged  to  ride  nine  miles  on  horseback  to  overtake  them,  to 
restore  harmony,  and  settle  difficulty  in  camp.  Had  coffin 
made  for  dead  Indian,  which  was  brought  to  camp  at  twelve 
o'clock  at  night  from  Blue  Eapids.  A  fearful  thunder-storm 
during  the  night,  flooding  the  camp-equipage." 

This  is  a  "highly-colored"  story,  indeed  !  The  darkness  ; 
the  camp  flooded  by  the  driving  rain ;  thunder  and  lightning ;  a 
messenger  arriving  at  midnight  with  a  coffin  ]  the  four  families 
of  desperate  fugitives  setting  out  to  flee  back  to  their  homes  ! 
What  "sensational  fabrication  "  could  compete  with  this  1 

"June  19th.  The  storm  of  last  night  left  the  roads  in  an 
impassable  condition,  and,  in  consequence,  was  obliged  to  re- 
main in  camp  all  day.  Buried  Little  Cottonwood  in  a  ceme 
tery  about  five  miles  from  camp.  *  *  * 


"  June  25th.  Broke  camp  at  six  o'clock.  Marched  to  a  point 
about  fifteen  miles  farther  up  Deep  Creek.  Two  old  women 
died  during  the  day.  *  *  * 

"June  3(Wa.  Broke  camp  at  six  o'clock.  Passed  through 
Hartford,  and  camped  about  six  miles  above  Burlington.  A 
child  of  Buffalo  Chief  died  during  the  day.  *  *  * 

"  July  2d.  Broke  camp  at  six  o'clock.  Made  a  long  march 
of  fifteen  miles  for  Noon  Camp,  for  reason  that  no  water  could 
be  got  nearer.  An  Indian  became  hostile,  and  made  a  desper- 
ate attempt  to  kill  White  Eagle,  head  chief  of  the  tribe.  Tor  a 
time  every  male  in  camp  was  on  the  war-path,  and  for  about 
two  hours  the  most  intense  excitement  prevailed,  heightened  by 
continued  loud  crying  by  all  the  women  and  children." 

This  Indian,  who  is  reported  here  as  having  "  become  hos- 
tile," no  doubt,  tried  to  kill  White  Eagle  for  having  allowed 
the  tribe  to  be  brought  into  all  this  trouble.  It  is  the  general 
feeling  among  the  less  intelligent  members  of  a  tribe  that  their 
chiefs  are  bound,  under  all  circumstances,  to  see  that  they  come 
to  no  harm. 

"  July  §th  Broke  camp  at  six  o'clock,  passing  through  Bax- 
ter Springs  at  about  one  o'clock.  Just  after  passing  Baxter 
Springs  a  terrible  thunder-storm  struck  us.  The  wind  blew  a 
heavy  gale  and  the  rain  fell  in  torrents,  so  that  it  was  impos- 
sible to  see  more  than  four  or  five  rods  distant,  thoroughly 
drenching  every  person  and  every  article  in  the  train,  making 
a  fitting  end  to  a  journey  commenced  by  wading  a  river  and 
thereafter  encountering  innumerable  storms. 

"During  the  last  few  days  of  the  journey  the  weather  was 
exceedingly  hot,  and  the  teams  terribly  annoyed  and  bitten  by 
green-head  flies,  which  attacked  them  in  great  numbers.  Many 
of  the  teams  were  nearly  exhausted,  and,  had  the  distance  been 
but  little  farther,  they  must  have  given  out.  The  people  were 
all  nearly  worn  out  from  the  fatigue  of  the  march,  and  were 
heartily  glad  that  the  long,  tedious  journey  was  at  an  end,  that 

THE  PONCAS.  217 

they  might  take  that  rest  so  much  required  for  the  recupera- 
tion of  their  physical  natures."  Now  let  us  see  what  provision 
the  Government  had  made  for  that  "rest"  and  "recuperation," 
surely  "  much  required  "  and  fairly  earned.  Not  one  dollar  had 
been  appropriated  for  establishing  them  in  their  new  home;  not 
one  building  had  been  put  up.  This  people  was  set  down  in  a 
wilderness  without  one  provision  of  any  kind  for  their  shelter. 

"It  is  a  matter  of  astonishment  to  me,"  says  Agent  Howard 
(p.  100  of  this  "  Report "),  "that  the  Government  should  have 
ordered  the  removal  of  the  Ponca  Indians  from  Dakota  to  the 
Indian  Territory  without  having  first  made  some  provision  for 
their  settlement  and  comfort.  Before  their  removal  was  carried 
into  effect  an  appropriation  should  have  been  made  by  Con. 
gress  sufficient  to  have  located  them  in  their  new  home,  by 
building  a  comfortable  home  for  the  occupancy  of  every  family 
of  the  tribe.  As  the  case  now  is,  no  appropriation  has  been 
made  by  Congress  except  of  a  sum  little  more  than  sufficient 
to  remove  them;  and  the  result  is  that  these  people  have  been 
placed  on  an  uncultivated  reservation,  to  live  in  their  tents  as 
best  they  may,  and  await  further  legislative  action." 

This  journal  of  Mr.  Howard's  is  the  best  record  that  can  ever 
be  written  of  the  sufferings  of  the  Poncas  in  their  removal 
from  their  homes.  It  is  "highly  colored ;"  but  no  one,  how- 
ever much  it  may  be  for  his  interest  to  do  so,  can  call  it  "a 
sensational  fabrication,"  or  can  discredit  it  in  the  smallest  par- 
ticular, for  it  is  an  "  official  record,"  authorized  and  endorsed 
by  being  published  in  the  "Annual  Eeport"  of  the  Secretary 
of  the  Interior. 

The  remainder  of  the  Ponca  tribe  is  still  in  Indian  Territory, 
awaiting  anxiously  the  result  of  the  efforts  to  restore  to  them 
their  old  homes,  and  to  establish  the  fact  of  their  indisputable 
legal  right  to  them.* 

*  See  Appendix,  Art.  II.,  for  later  facts  in  the  history  of  tfte  Poncas, 




THE.  Winnebagoes  "belonged  to  the  Dakota  family,  but,  so 
far  as  can  "be  known,  were  naturally  a  peace-loving  people,  and 
had  no  sympathy  with  the  more  warlike  tribes  of  their  race. 
The  Algonquins  gave  them  the  name  of  Winnebagoes,  or  "  peo- 
ple of  the  salt-water;"  and  as  the  Algonquin  word  for  salt- 
water and  stinking-water  was  the  same,  the  French  called  them 
"  Les  Puants,"  or  "  Stinkards."  The  Sioux  gave  them  a  more 
melodious  and  pleasing  name,  "  0-ton-kah,"  which  signified 
"The  large,  strong  people," 

Bancroft,  in  his  account  of  the  North  American  tribes,  says  : 
"  One  little  community  of  the  Dakota  (Sioux)  family  had  pen- 
etrated the  territories  of  the  Algonquins :  the  Winnebagoes 
dwelling  between  Green  Bay  and  the  lake  that  bears  their 
name  preferred  to  be  environed  by  Algonquins  than  to  stay  in 
the  dangerous  vicinity  of  their  own  kindred." 

One  of  the  earliest  mentions  that  is  found  of  this  tiibe,  in 
the  diplomatic  history  of  our  country,  is  in  the  reports  given 
of  a  council  held  in  July,  1815,  at  "Portage  des  Sioux,"  in 
Missouri,  after  the  treaty  of  Ghent.  To  this  council  the  Win- 
nebagoes refused  to  send  delegates ;  and  their  refusal  was  evi- 
dently considered  a  matter  of  some  moment.  The  commis- 
sioners "  appointed  to  treat  with  the  North-western  Indians  " 
at  this  time  reported  that  they  found  "  the  Indians  much  di- 
vided among  themselves  in  regard  to  peace  with  the  United 
States."  Some  of  them  "  spoke  without  disguise  of  their  op- 
position to  military  establishments  on  the  Mississippi,"  and 


many  of  them,  "  among  whom  were  the  Winnebagoes,  utterly 
refused  to  send  deputies  to  the  council,"  This  disaffection 
was  thought  "by  the  commissioners  to  he  largely  due  to  the 
influence  of  British  traders,  who  plied  the  Indians  with  gifts, 
and  assured  them  that  war  would  soon  break  out  again  be- 
tween the  United  States  and  Great  Britain.  It  is  probable, 
however,  that  the  Winnebagoes  held  themselves  aloof  from 
these  negotiations  more  from  a  general  distrust  of  white  men 
than  from  any  partisan  or  selfish  leaning  to  the  side  of  Great 
Britain;  for  when  Dr.  Jedediah  Morse  visited  them,  only  seven 
years  later,  he  wrote  :  "  There  is  no  other  tribe  which  seems  to 
possess  so  much  jealousy  of  the  whites,  and  such  reluctance  to 
have  intercourse  with  them,  as  this." 

Spite  of  this  reluctance  they  made,  in  1816,  a  treaty  "  of 
peace  and  friendship  with  the  United  States,7' agreeing  "to 
remain  distinct  and  separate  from  the  rest  of  their  nation  or 
tribe,  giving  them  no  assistance  whatever  until  peace  shall  be 
concluded  between  the  United  States  and  their  tribe  or  nation." 
They  agreed  also  to  confirm  and  observe  all  the  lines  of  British, 
French,  or  Spanish  cessions  of  land  to  the  United  States. 

In  1825  the  United  States  Government,  unable  to  endure 
the  spectacle  of  Indians  warring  among  themselves,  and  massa- 
cring each  other,  appears  in  the  North-western  country  as  an 
unselfish  pacificator,  and  compels  the  Sacs,  Eoxes,  Chippewas, 
and  Sioux,  including  the  Winnebagoes,  to  make  a  treaty  of 
peace  and  friendship  with  each  other  and  with  the  United 
States.  The  negotiations  for  this  treaty  occupied  one  month ; 
which  does  not  seem  a  long  time  when  one  considers  that  the 
boundaries  of  all  the  lands  to  be  occupied  by  these  respective 
tribes  were  to  be  defined,  and  that  in  those  days  and  regions 
definitions  of  distance  were  stated  in  such  phrases  as  "  a  half 
day's  march/'  "  a  long  day's  march,"  "  about  a  day's  paddle  in 
a  canoe,"  "to  a  point  where  the  woods  come  out  into  the 
meadows,"  "  to  a  point  on  Buffalo  Kiver,  half  way  between  its 


source  and  its  mouth."  These  were  surely  precarious  terms 
for  peace  to  rest  upon,  especially  as  it  was  understood  by  all 
parties  that  "  no  tribe  shall  hunt  within  the  actual  limits  of 
any  other  without  their  consent." 

At  the  close  of  this  treaty  there  occurred  a  curious  incident, 
which  Schoolcraft  calls  "  an  experiment  on  the  moral  sense  of 
the  Indians  with  regard  to  intoxicating  liquors."  "  It  had  been 
said  by  the  tribes  that  the  true  reason  for  the  Commissioners  of 
the  United  States  speaking  against  the  use  of  ardent  spirits  by 
the  Indians,  and  refusing  to  give  it  to  them,  was  the  fear  of  ex- 
pense, and  not  a  sense  of  its  bad  effects.  To  show  them  that 
the  Government  was  above  such  a  petty  motive,  the  commis- 
sioners had  a  long  row  of  tin  camp-kettles,  holding  several  gal- 
lons each,  placed  on  the  grass ;  and  then,  after  some  suitable 
remarks,  each  kettle  was  spilled  out  in  their  presence.  The 
thing  was  ill-relished  by  the  Indians,  who  loved  the  whiskey 
better  than  the  joke/7 

At  this  time  the  lands  of  the  Winnebagoes  lay  between  the 
Bock  and  the  Wisconsin  rivers,  along  the  shore  of  Winnebago 
Lake,  and  the  Indians  claimed  that  the  whole  lake  belonged 
to  them.  It  was  here  that  President  Morse  had  found  them 
living  in  1822.  He  gives  the  following  graphic  picture  of  their 
pleasant  home :  "  They  have  five  villages  on  the  Lake,  and 
fourteen  on  Kock  Eiver.  The  country  has  abundance  of 
springs,  small  lakes,  ponds,  and  rivers ;  a  rich  soil,  producing 
corn  and  all  sorts  of  grain.  The  lakes  abound  with  fine-fla- 
vored, firm  fish."  Of  the  Indians  themselves,  he  says :  "  They 
are  industrious,  frugal,  and  temperate.  They  cultivate  corn, 
potatoes,  pumpkins,  squashes,  and  beans,  and  are  remarkably 
provident.  They  numbered  five  hundred  and  eighty  souls." 

In  1827  a  third  treaty  was  signed  by  the  Winnebagoes, 
Chippewas,  and  Menomonies  with  the  United  States  and  with 
each  other.  This  treaty  completed  the  system  of  boundaries 
of  their  lands,  which  had  been  only  partially  defined  by  the  two 


previous  treaties.  Of  these  three  treaties  Schoolcraft  says: 
"  These  three  conferences  embody  a  new  course  and  policy  for 
keeping  the  tribes  in  peace,  and  are  founded  on  the  most  en- 
larged consideration  of  the  aboriginal  right  of  fee-simple  to 
the  soil  They  have  been  held  exclusively  at  the  charge  and 
expense  of  the  United  States,  and  contain  no  cession  of  terri- 

They  were  the  last  treaties  of  their  kind.  In  1828  the  peo- 
ple of  Northern  Illinois  were  beginning  to  covet  and  trespass 
on  some  of  the  Indian  lands,  and  commissioners  were  sent  to 
treat  with  the  Indians  for  the  surrender  of  such  lands.  The 
Indians  demurred,  and  the  treaty  was  deferred ;  the  United 
States  in  the  mean  time  agreeing  to  pay  to  the  four  tribes 
$20,000,  "  in  full  compensation  for  all  the  injuries  and  dam- 
ages sustained  by  them  in  consequence  of  the  occupation  of 
any  part  of  the  mining  country." 

In  1829  a  benevolent  scheme  for  the  rescue  of  these  hard- 
pressed  tribes  of  the  North-western  territory  was  proposed  by 
Mr.  J.  D.  Stevens,  a  missionary  at  Mackinaw.  He  suggested 
the  formation  of  a  colony  of  them  in  the  Lake  Superior  region. 
He  says  —  and  his  words  are  as  true  to-day,  in  1879,  as  they 
were  fifty  years  ago  :  "  The  Indian  is  in  every  view  entitled  to 
sympathy.  The  misfortune  of  the  race  is  that,  seated  on  the 
skirts  of  the  domain  of  a  popular  government,  they  have  no 
vote  to  give.  They  are  politically  a  nonentity.  *  *  *  The  whole 
Indian  race  is  not  worth  one  white  man's  vote.  If  the  Indian 
were  raised  to  the  right  of  giving  his  suffrage,  a  plenty  of 
politicians  on  the  frontiers  would  enter  into  plans  to  better 
him ;  whereas  now  the  subject  drags  along  like  an  incubus  in 

It  did,  indeed.  Appropriations  were  sadly  behindhand.  The 
promises  made  to  the  Indians  could  not  be  fulfilled,  simply 
because  there  was  no  money  to  fulfil  them  with.  In  1829  a 
"Washington  correspondent  writes  to  Mr.  Schoolcraft :  "  There 


is  a  screw  loose  in  the  public  machinery  somewhere.  In  1827 
we  were  promised  $48,000  for  the  Indian  service,  and  got 
$30,000 ;  in  1828  $40,000,  and  got  $25,000."  A  little  later 
the  Secretary  of  War  himself  writes  :  "  Our  annual  appropria- 
tion has  not  yet  passed;  and  when  it  will,  I  am  sure  I  cannot 

In  1830  the  all-engrossing  topic  of  Congress  is  said  to  be 
"  the  removal  of  the  Indians.  It  occupies  the  public  mind 
throughout  the  Union,  and  petitions  and  remonstrances  are 
pouring  in  without  number." 

Meantime  the  Indians  were  warring  among  themselves,  and 
also  retaliating  on  the  white  settlers  who  encroached  upon  their 
lands.  The  inevitable  conflict  had  begun  in  earnest,  and  in 
September  of  1832  the  Winnebagoes  were  compelled  to  make 
their  first  great  cession  of  territory  to  the  United  States.  In 
exchange  for  it  they  accepted  a  tract  west  of  the  Mississippi, 
and  before  the  1st  of  June,  1833,  most  of  those  who  were  liv- 
ing on  the  ceded  lands  had  crossed  the  river  to  their  new 
homes.  Their  title  to  this  new  country  was  not  so  good  as 
they  probably  supposed,  for  the  treaty  expressly  stated  that  it 
was  granted  to  them  "  to  be  held  as  other  Indian  lands  are 

Article  three  of  this  treaty  said,  "  As  the  country  hereby 
ceded  by  the  Winnebagoes  is  more  extensive  and  valuable  than 
that  given  by  the  United  States  in  exchange,"  the  United  States 
would  pay  to  the  Winnebagoes  $10,000  annually  in  specie  for 
twenty-seven  years.  The  Government  also  promised  to  put  up 
buildings  for  them,  send  teachers,  make  various  allowances  for 
stock,  implements,  tobacco,  etc.,  and  to  furnish  them  with  a 

The  Winnebagoes  agreed  to  deliver  up  some  of  their  num- 
ber who  had  murdered  white  settlors.  Lands  wore  granted  by 
patent  to  four  Winnebagoes  by  name — two  men  and  two 
women  j  for  what  reason,  does  not  appear  in  the  treaty. 


Five  years  later  the  Winnebagoes  ceded  to  the  United  States 
all  their  lands  east  of  the  Mississippi,  and  also  relinquished 
the  right  to  occupy,  "  except  for  hunting,"  a  portion  of  that 
which  they  owned  on  the  west  side.  For  this  cession  and  re- 
linquishment  they  were  to  receive  $200,000  ;  part  of  this  sum 
to  he  expended  in  paying  their  debts,  the  expense  of  their 
removal  and  establishment  in  their  new  homes,  and  the  rest 
to  be  invested  by  the  United  States  Government  for  their 

In  1846  the  "Winnebagoes  were  forced-to  make  another  treaty, 
by  which  they  finally  ceded  and  sold  to  the  United  States 
"  all  right,  title,  interest,  claim,  and  privilege  to  all  lands  here- 
tofore occupied  by  them ; "  and  accepted  as'their  home,  "  to  be 
held  as  other  Indian  lands  are  held,"  a  tract  of  800,000  acres 
north  of  St.  Peter's,  and  west  of  the  Mississippi.  For 'this  third 
removal  they  were  to  be  paid  $190,000— $150,000  for  the 
knds  they  gave  up,  and  $40,000  for  relinquishing  the  hunting 
privilege  on  lands  adjacent  to  their  own.  Part  of  this  was  to 
be  expended  in  removing  them,  and  the  balance  was  to  be  "  left 
in  trust "  with  the  Government  at  five  per  cent,  interest. 

This  reservation  proved  unsuited  to  them.  The  tribe  were 
restless  and  discontented;  large  numbers  of  them  were  con- 
tinually roaming  back  to  their  old  homes  in  Iowa  and  Wiscon- 
sin, and  in  1855  they  gladly  made  another  treaty  with  the 
Government,  by  which  they  ceded  back  to  the  United  States 
all  the  land  which  the  treaty  of  1846  had  given  them,  and  took 
in  exchange  for  it  a  tract  eighteen  miles  square  on  the  Elue 
Earth  Eiver.  The  improved  lands  on  which  they  had  been 
living,  their  mills  and  other  buildings,  were  to  be  appraised 
and  sold  to  the  highest  bidder,  and  the  amount  expended  in  re- 
moving them,  subsisting  them,  and  making  them  comfortable 
in  their  new  home.  This  reservation,  the  treaty  said,  should  be 
their  "permanent  home  j"  and  as  this  phrase  had  never  before 
been  used  in  any  of  their  treaties,  it  is  to  be  presumed  that  the 


Winnebagoes  took  heart  at  hearing  it.  They  are  said  to  have 
"  settled  down  quietly  and  contentedly,"  and  have  gone  to 
work  immediately,  "ploughing,  planting,  and  building." 

The  citizens  of  Minnesota  did  not  take  kindly  to  their  new 
neighbors.  "  An  indignation  meeting  was  held ;  a  petition  to 
the  President  signed  j  and  movements  made,  the  object  of  all 
which  was  to  oust  these  Indians  from  their  dearly-purchased 
homes,"  says  the  Report  of  the  Indian  Commissioner  for  1855. 

Such  movements,  and  such  a  public  sentiment  on  the  part  of 
the  population  surrounding  them,  certainly  did  not  tend  to  en- 
courage the  Winnebagoes  to  industry,  or  to  give  them  any  very 
sanguine  hopes  of  being  long  permitted  to  remain  in  their 
"  permanent  home."  Nevertheless  they  worked  on,  doing  bet- 
ter and  better  every  year,  keeping  good  faith  with  the  whites 
and  with  the  Government,  and  trusting  in  the  Government's 
purpose  and  power  to  keep  faith  with  them.  The  only  serious 
faults  with  which  they  could  be  charged  were  drunkenness  and 
gambling,  and  both  of  these  they  had  learned  of  the  white  set- 
tlers. In  the  latter  they  had  proved  to  be  apt  scholars,  often 
beating  professional  gamblers  at  their  own  game. 

They  showed  the  bad  effects  of  their  repeated  removals, 
also,  in  being  disposed  to  wander  back  to  their  old  homes. 
Sometimes  several  hundred  of  them  would  be  roaming  about 
in  Wisconsin.  But  the  tribe,  as  a  whole,  were  industrious, 
quiet,  always  peaceable  and  loyal,  and  steadily  improving. 
They  took  hold  in  earnest  of  the  hard  work  of  farming  ;  some 
of  them  who  could  not  get  either  horses  or  ploughs  actually 
breaking  up  new  land  with  hoes,  and  getting  fair  crops  out  of 
it.  Very  soon  they  began  to  entreat  to  have  their  farms  set- 
tled on  them  individually,  and  guaranteed  to  them  for  their 
own ;  and  the  Government,  taking  advantage  of  this  desire  on 
their  part,  made  a  treaty  with  them  in  1859,  by  which  part  of 
their  lands  were  to  be  "  allotted  "  to  individuals  in  "  several- 
ty,"  as  they  had  requested,  and  the  rest  were  to  be  sold,  the 


proceeds  to  be  partly  expended  in  improvements  on  their  farms, 
and  partly  to  be  "  left  in  trust "  with  the  Government.  This 
measure  threw  open  hundreds  of  thousands  of  acres  of  land  to 
white  settlers,  and  drew  the  belt  of  greedy  civilization  much 
tighter  around  the  Indians.  Similar  treaties  to  this  had  been 
already  made  with  some  of  the  Sioux  tribes  and  with  others. 
It  was  evident  that  "  the  surplus  land  occupied  by  the  Indians 
was  required  for  the  use  of  the  increasing  white  population," 
and  that  it  was  "  necessary  to  reduce  the  reservations." 

There  is  in  this  treaty  of  1859  one  extraordinary  provision: 
"  In  order  to  render  unnecessary  any  further  treaty  engage- 
ments or  arrangements  with  the  United  States,  it  is  hereby 
agreed  and  stipulated  that  the  President,  with  the  assent  of 
Congress,  shall  have  full  power  to  modify  or  change  any  of 
the  provisions  of  former  treaties  with  the  Winnebagoes,  in 
such  manner  and  to  whatever  extent  he  may  judge  to  be  nec- 
essary and  expedient  for  their  welfare  and  best  interest." 

It  is  impossible  to  avoid  having  a  doubt  whether  the  chiefs 
and  headmen  of  the  Winnebago  tribe  who  signed  this  treaty 
ever  heard  that  proviso.  It  is  incredible  that  they  could  have 
been  so  simple  and  trustful  as  to  have  assented  to  it. 

Prospects  now  brightened  for  the  Winnebagoes.  With 
their  farms  given  to  them  for  their  own,  and  a  sufficient  sum 
of  money  realized  by  the  sale  of  surplus  lands  to  enable  them 
to  thoroughly  improve  the  remainder,  their  way  seemed  open 
to  prosperity  and  comfort.  They  "entered  upon  farming 
with  a  zeal  and  energy  which  gave  promise  of  a  prosperous 
and  creditable  future." 

"  Every  family  in  the  tribe  has  more  or  less  ground  under 
cultivation,"  says  their  agent.  He  reports,  also,  the  minutes 
of  a  council  held  by  the  chiefs,  which  tell  their  own  story : 

"When  we  were  at  Washington  last  winter,  we  asked  our 
Great  Father  to  take  $300,000  out  of  the  $1,100,000,  so  that 
we  could  commence  our  next  spring's  work  We  do  not  want 



all  of  the  $1,100,000,  only  sufficient  to  carry  on  our  improve- 
ments. This  money  we  ask  for  -we  request  only  as  a  loan; 
and  when  our  treaty  is  ratified,  we  want  it  replaced.  We 
want  to  buy  cattle,  horses,  ploughs,  and  wagons;  and  this 
money  can  be  replaced  when  our  lands  are  sold.  We  hope  yon 
will  get  this  money :  we  want  good  farms  and  good  houses. 
Many  have  already  put  on  white  man's  clothes,  and  more  of  us 
will  when  our  treaty  is  ratified. 

"  Father,  we  do  not  want  to  mate  you  tired  of  talk,  but 
hope  you  will  make  a  strong  paper,  and  urgent  request  of  our 
Great  Father  in  respect  to  our  wishes." 

In  1860  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  writes:  "The 
Winnebagoes  continue  steadily  on  the  march  of  improvement. 

*  *  *  The  progress  of  the  Winnebagoes  in  agricultural  growths 
is  particularly  marked  with  success.     There  have  been  raised 
by  individuals  as  high  as  sixty  acres  of  wheat  on  a  single  farm. 

*  *  *  The  agent's  efforts  have  been  directed  to  giving  to  each 
Indian  his  own  allotment  of  land.  *  *  *  Wigwams  are  be- 
coming as  scarce  as  houses  were  two  years  ago.  *  *  *  All  In- 
dians who  had  horses  ploughed  and  farmed  their  own  lands. 

*  *  *  The  Indians  were  promised  that  new  and  comfortable 
houses  should  be  built  for  them.    The  treaty  not  yet  being 
ratified,  I  have  no  funds  in  my  hands  that  could  be  made  ap- 
plicable to  this  purpose.  *  *  *  The  greater  part  of  the  Indians 
have  entreated  me  to  carry  out  the  meaning  of  the  commission- 
er on  his  visit  here,  and  the  reasons  for  my  not  doing  so  do 
not  seem  comprehensible  to  them.  *  *  *  The  school  is  in  a 
flourishing  condition." 

In  1861  the  commissioner  writes  that  the  allotment  of 
lands  in  severalty  to  the  Winnebagoes  has  been  "  substantially 
accomplished ;"  but  that  the  sales  of  the  remaining  lands  have 
not  yet  been  made,  owing  to  the  unsettled  condition  of  the 
country,  and  therefore  the  funds  on  which  the  Indians  were 
depending  for  the  improvements  of  their  farms  have  not  been 


paid  to  them.  They  complain  bitterly  that  the  provisions  of 
the  treaty  of  1859  have  not  been  fulfilled.  "It  has  been  two 
years  and  a  half  since  this  treaty  was  concluded,"  says  the 
agent,  "  and  the  Indians  have  been  told  from  one  season  to 
another  that  something  would  be  done  under  it  for  their  bene- 
fit, and  as  often  disappointed,  till  the  best  of  them  begin  to 
doubt  whether  anything  will  be  done.  *  *  *  The  Indians  who 
have  had  their  allotments  made  are  '  clamoring  for  their  cer- 
tificates.1 " 

Drunkenness  is  becoming  one  of  the  serious  vices  of  the 
tribe.  They  are  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  white  men  who 
traffic  in  whiskey,  and  who  are,  moreover,  anxious  to  reduce 
the  Indians  to  as  degraded  a  state  as  possible.  "  There  are 
some  circumstances  connected  with  the  location  of  this  tribe 
which  make  it  more  difficult  to  protect  them  from  the  ravages 
of  liquor-selling  than  any  other  tribe.  They  are  closely  sur- 
rounded by  a  numerous  white  population,  and  these  people 
feel  very  indignant  because  the  Indians  are  settled  in  their 
midst,  and  are  disposed  to  make  it  as  uncomfortable  for  them 
to  remain  here  as  they  can,  hoping  at  some  future  time  they 
may  be  able  to  cause  their  removal." 

The  time  was  not  far  distant.  In  1862  we  find  the  Winne- 
bagoes  in  trouble  indeed.  A  ferocious  massacre  of  white  set- 
tlers by  the  Sioux  had  so  exasperated  the  citizens  of  Minne- 
sota, that  they  demanded  the  removal  of  all  Indians  from  the 
State.  The  people  were  so  excited  that  not  an  Indian  could 
step  outside  the  limits  of  the  reservation  without  the  risk  of 
being  shot  at  sight.  The  Winnebagoes  had  utterly  refused  to 
join  the  Sioux  in  their  attack  on  the  whites,  and  had  been 
threatened  by  them  with  extermination  in  consequence  of  this 
loyalty.  Thus  they  were  equally  in  danger  from  both  whites 
and  Indians :  their  position  was  truly  pitiable. 

In  the  Annual  Eeport  of  the  Interior  Department  for  1862 
the  condition  of  things  is  thus  described :  "  While  it  may  be 


true  that  a  few  of  the  Winnebagoes  were  engaged  in  the  atroc- 
ities of  the  Sioux,  the  tribe,  as  such,  is  no  more  justly  responsi- 
ble for  their  acts  than  our  Government  would  be  for  a  pirate 
who  happened  to  have  been  bora  on  our  territory.  Notwith- 
standing this,  the  exasperation  of  the  people  of  Minnesota 
appears  to  be  nearly  as  great  toward  the  Winnebagoes  as  to- 
ward the  Sioux.  They  demand  that  the  Winnebagoes  as  well 
as  the  Sioux  shall  be  removed  from  the  limits  of  the  State. 
The  "Winnebagoes  are  unwilling  to  move.  Yet  the  Minnesota 
people  are  so  excited  that  not  a  Winnebago  can  leave  his  res- 
ervation without  risk  of  being  shot ;  and  as  they  have  never 
received  their  promised  implements  of  agriculture,  and  the 
game  on  their  reservation  is  exhausted,  and  their  arms  have 
been  taken  from  them,  they  are  starving." 

Their  agent  writes:  "These  Indians  have  been  remaining 
here  in  a  continuous  state  of  suspense,  waiting  for  the  Govern- 
ment to  cause  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  1859  to  be  car- 
ried into  operation:  such  has  been  their  condition  for  three 
years  and  a  half,  and  they  do  not  understand  why  it  is  so.  *  *  * 
The  fact  that  a  very  few  of  the  Winnebagoes  were  present 
and  witnessed,  if  they  did  not  take  part  in,  the  massacre  at  the 
Lower  Sioux  Agency,  has  caused  the  Winnebagoes  themselves 
to  be  universally  suspected  of  disloyalty.  *  *  *  The  hostile  feel- 
ings of  the  white  people  are  so  intense,  that  I  am  necessitated 
to  use  extra  efforts  to  keep  the  Indians  upon  their  own  lands. 
I  have  been  notified  by  the  whites  that  the  Indians  will  be 
massacred  if  they  go  out  of  their  own  country ;  and  it  is  but  a 
few  days  since  an  Indian  was  killed  while  crossing  the  Missis- 
sippi River,  for  no  other  reason  than  that  he  was  an  Indian, 
and  such  is  the  state  of  public  opinion  that  the  murderer  goes 

As  to  the  loyalty  of  the  tribe,  the  agent  says :  "  There  is  no 
tribe  of  Indians  more  so."  There  is  "  no  doubt  of  their  loyal- 
ty as  a  tribe.  *  *  *  In  consequence  of  a  threat  made  by  the 


Sioux,  immediately  upon  their  outbreak,  that  they  (the  Sioux) 
would  exterminate  the  Winnebagoes  unless  they  joined  them 
in  a  raid  against  the  white  people,  the  Winnebagoes  have  lived 
in  fear  of  an  attack  from  the  Sioux,  and  have  almost  daily 
implored  me  for  protection.  *  *  *  To  further  assure  them,  I 
requested  of  the  Governor  of  the  State  that  two  companies  of 
United  States  infantry  be  stationed  here  in  their  midst,  which 
has  allayed  their  fears.  *  *  *  Notwithstanding  the  nearness  of 
the  belligerent  Sioux,  and  the  unfriendly  feelings  of  the  white 
people,  and  other  unfortunate  circumstances,  I  am  confident 
that  my  Indians  will  remain  loyal  to  the  last.  *  *  *  They  have 
been  informed  that,  notwithstanding  their  fidelity  to  the  Gov- 
ernment and  the  people,  the  people  of  this  State  are  memorial- 
izing Congress  to  remove  them  out  of  the  State — which,  they 
consider  very  unjust  under  the  circumstances,  for  they  have 
become  attached  to  this  location  and  would  not  leave  it  will- 
ingly, and  think  their  fidelity  ought  to  entitle  them  to  respect 
and  kind  treatment" 

The  "popular  demand"  of  the  people  of  Minnesota  tri- 
umphed. In  February,  1863,  Congress  passed  an  act  author- 
izing the  "  peaceful  and  quiet  removal  of  the  Winnebago  Indi- 
ans from  the  State  of  Minnesota,  and  the  settling  of  them  on  a 
new  reserve."  It  was  determined  to  locate  them  "  on  the  Mis- 
souri River  somewhere  within  a  hundred  miles  of  Fort  Randall, 
where  it  is  not  doubted  they  will  be  secure  from  any  danger 
of  intrusion  from  whites."  All  their  guns,  rifles,  and  pistols 
were  to  be  taken  from  them, "  securely  boxed  up,"  labelled 
"  with  the  names  of  their  respective  owners."  The  Department 
impressed  it  on  the  agent  in  charge  of  the  removal  that  it  was 
"  absolutely  necessary  that  no  time  should  be  lost  in  the  em- 
igrating of  these  Indians."  The  hostile  Sioux  were  to  be 
removed  at  the  same  time,  and  to  a  reservation  adjoining  the 
reservation  of  the  Winnebagoes.  The  reports  of  the  Indian 
Bureau  for  1863  tell  the  story  of  this  removal.* 
*  See  Appendix,  Art  VI. 


The  commissioner  says :  "  The  case  of  the  Winnebagoes  is 
one  of  peculiar  hardship.  I  am  still  of  the  opinion  that  this 
tribe  was  in  no  manner  implicated  in  or  responsible  for  the 
cruel  and  wanton  outbreak  on  the  part  of  the  Sioux ;  but  its 
consequences  to  the  tribe  have  been  as  disastrous  as  unmerited. 
In  obedience  to  the  Act  of  Congress,  and  the  popular  demand 
of  the  people  of  Minnesota,  they  have  been  removed  to  a  new 
location  upon  the  Missouri  River,  adjoining  that  selected  for 
the  Sioux.  Contrasting  the  happy  homes,  and  the  abundant 
supply  for  all  their  wants  which  they  have  left  behind  them, 
with  the  extreme  desolation  which  prevails  throughout  the 
country,  including  their  present  location,  and  their  almost  de- 
fenceless state,  as.  against  the  hostile  savages  in  their  vicinity, 
their  present  condition  is  truly  pitiable ;  and  it  is  not  surpris- 
ing that  they  have  become  to  some  extent  discouraged,  and  are 
dissatisfied  with  their  new  homes.  It  cannot  be  disguised  that 
their  removal,  although  nominally  peaceable  and  with  their 
consent,  was  the  result  of  the  overwhelming  pressure  of  the 
public  sentiment  of  the  community  in  which  they  resided ;  and 
it  is  to  be  feared  that  it  will  be  many  years  before  their  con- 
fidence in  the  good  faith  of  our  Government,  in  its  professed 
desire  to  ameliorate  and  improve  their  condition,  will  be  re- 
stored. Their  misfortunes  and  good  conduct  deserve  our 

The  Act  of  Congress  above  mentioned  provides  for  the 
peaceable  removal  of  the  Indians.  In  its  execution  some  of 
the  members  of  the  tribe  were  found  unwilling  to  leave  their 
homes ;  and  as  there  was  neither  the  disposition  nor  the  power 
to  compel  them  to  accompany  their  brethren,  they  remained 
upon  their  old  reservation.  The  most  of  them  are  represent- 
ed as  having  entirely  abandoned  the  Indian  habits  and  cus- 
toms, and  as  being  fully  qualified  by  good  conduct  and  oth- 
erwise for  civilized  life.  Many  of  them  are  enlisted  in  the 
military  service,  and  all  are  desirous  of  retaining  possession 


of  the  hqmes  allotted  to  them  under  the  provisions  of  their 

"  The  trust  lands  belonging  to  the  tribe  have  been  placed  in 
the  market,  and  from  the  amount  already  sold  has  been  realized 
$82,537  62.  An  appraisement  has  also  been  had  of  the  lands 
of  the  diminished  reserve,  and  the  same  will  soon  be  placed  in 
the  market." 

In  the  Report  of  the  Superintendent  of  the  North-west  Ter- 
ritory for  the  same  year  is  the  following  summing  up  of  their 
case :  "  The  case  of  these  Winnebago  Indians  is  one  of  peculiar 
hardship.  Hurried  from  their  comfortable  homes  in  Minnesota, 
in  1863,  almost  without  previous  notice,  huddled  together  on 
steamboats  with  poor  accommodations,  and  transported  to 
the  Crow  Creek  Agency  in  Dakota  Territory  at  an  expense  to 
themselves  of  more  than  $50,000,  they  were  left,  after  a  very 
imperfect  and  hasty  preparation  of  their  new  agency  for  their 
reception,  upon  a  sandy  beach  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Mis- 
souri River,  in  a  country  remarkable  only  for  the  rigors  of  its 
winter  climate  and  the  sterility  of  its  soil,  to  subsist  them- 
selves where  the  most  industrious  and  frugal  white  man  would 
fail,  five  years  out  of  six,  to  raise  enough  grain  upon  which  to 
subsist  a  family.  The  stern  alternative  was  presented  to  this 
unfortunate  people,  thus  deprived  of  comfortable  homes  (on 
account  of  no  crime  or  misdemeanor  of  their  own),  of  abandon- 
ing this  agency,  or  encountering  death  from  cold  or  starvation. 
They  wisely  chose  the  former;  and  after  encountering  hard- 
ships and  sufferings  too  terrible  to  relate,  and  the  loss  of  sev- 
eral hundred  of  their  tribe  by  starvation  and  freezing,  they 
arrived  at  their  present  place  of  residence  [the  Omaha  Agen- 
cy] in  a  condition  which  excited  the  active  sympathy  of  all 
who  became  acquainted  with  the  story  of  their  wrongs.  There 
they  have  remained,  trusting  that  the  Government  would  re- 
deem its  solemn  promise  to  place  them  in  a  position  west  of 
the  Missouri  which  should  be  as  comfortable  as  the  one  which 
they  occupied  in  Minnesota. 


"  This  tribe  is  characterized  by  frugality,  thrift,  and  industry 
to  an  extent  unequalled  by  any  other  tribe  of  Indians  in  the 
North-west.  Loyal  to  the  Government,  and  peaceable  toward 
their  neighbors,  they  are  entitled  to  the  fostering  care  of  the 
General  Government.  The  improvement  of  the  homes  which 
they  have  voluntarily  selected  for  their  future  residence  will 
place  them  in  a  short  time  beyond  the  reach  of  want,  and  take 
from  the  Government  the  burden  of  supplying  their  wants  at 
an  actual  expense  of  $100,000." 

It  was  in  May,  1863,  that  the  Winnebagoes  gathered  at  Fort 
Snelling,  ready  for  their  journey.  The  chiefs  are  said  to  have 
"  acquiesced  in  the  move  as  a  matter  of  necessity,  for  the  pro- 
tection of  their  people,"  but  some  of  them  "actually  shed 
tears  on  taking  leave,"  Colonel  Mix,  who  was  in  charge  of 
this  removal,  wrote  to  Washington,  urgently  entreating  that 
tents  at  least  might  be  provided  for  them  on  their  arrival  at 
their  new  homes  in  the  wilderness.  He  also  suggests  that  it  is 
a  question  whether  they  ought  to  be  settled  so  near  the  hostile 
Sioux,  especially  as  just  before  leaving  Minnesota  some  of  the 
tribe  had  "  scalped  three  Sioux  Indians,  thinking  it  would  pro- 
pitiate them  in  the  kind  regards  of  their  Great  Father  at  Wash- 
ington, and,  as  a  consequence,  they  would  perhaps  be  permitted 
to  remain  in  Minnesota." 

The  removal  was  accomplished  in  May  and  Juno.  There 
were,  all  told,  1945  of  the  Winnebagoes.  They  arrived  to  find 
themselves  in  an  almost  barren  wilderness — a  dry,  hard  soil, 
"  too  strong  for  ploughs ;"  so  much  so,  that  it  was  "  difficult  to 
get  a  plough  to  run  a  whole  day  without  breaking."  A  drought 
had  parched  the  grass,  so  that  in  many  places  where  the  previ- 
ous year  several  tons  of  good  hay  to  an  acre  had  been  raised 
there  was  not  now  "  pasturage  for  a  horse."  The  cottonwool 
timber,  all  which  could  be  procured,  was  "  crooked,  difficult  to 
handle,  full  of  wind-shakes,  rots,  etc."  The  channel  of  the  Mis- 
souri River  here  was  so  "  changeable,"  and  the  banks  so  low, 


that  it  was  "  dangerous  to  get  too  near."  They  were  obliged 
therefore  to  settle  half  a  mile  away  from  the  river.  No  won- 
der that  on  July  1st  the  Winnebagoes  are  reported  as  "not 
pleased  with  their  location,  and  anxious  to  return  to  Minnesota, 
or  to  some  other  place  among  the  whites."  They  gathered  to- 
gether in  council,  and  requested  Superintendent  Thompson  to 
write  to  their  Great  Father  for  permission  "  to  move  among 
the  whites  again.  *  *  *  They  have  lived  so  long  among  the 
whites  that  they  are  more  afraid  of  wild  Indians  than  the 
whites  are."  The  superintendent  hopes,  however,  they  will  be 
more  contented  as  soon  as  he  can  get  them  comfortable  build- 
ings. But  on  July  16th  we  find  Brigadier-general  Sulley,  com- 
mander of  the  North-western  expedition  against  Indians,  writ- 
ing to  the  Department  in  behalf  of  these  unfortunate  creatures. 
General  Sulley  having  been  detained  in  camp  near  Crow  Creek 
on  account  of  the  low  water,  the  chiefs  had  gone  to  him  with 
their  tale  of  misery.  "They  stated  that  nothing  would  grow 
here.  They  dare  not  go  out  to  hunt  for  fear  of  other  tribes, 
and  they  would  all  starve  to  death.  This  I  believe  to  be  true, 
without  the  Government  intends  to  ration  them  all  the  time. 
The  land  is  sandy,  dry,  and  parched  up.  *  *  *  The  land  is  poor ; 
a  low,  sandy  soil.  I  don't  think  you  can  depend  on  a  crop  of 
corn  even  once  in  five  years,  as  it  seldom  rains  here  in  the  sum- 
mer. *  *  *  I  find  them  hard  at  work  making  canoes,  with  the 
intention  of  quitting  the  agency  and  going  to  join  the  Omahas 
or  some  other  tribe  down  the  river.  They  said  they  had  been 
promised  to  be  settled  on  the  Big  Sioux  Eiver.  *  *  *  I  told 
them  they  must  stay  here  till  they  get  permission  from  "Wash- 
ington to  move ;  that,  if  they  attempted  it,  they  would  be  fired 
on  by  my  troops  stationed  down  the  river." 

This  is  a  graphic  picture  of  the  condition  of  a  band  of  two 
thousand  human  beings,  for  whose  "benefit"  $82,537  62  had 
just  been  realized  from  sale  of  their  lands  by  the  Govern- 
ment, to  say  nothing  of  the  property  they  owned  in  lands  yet 



unsold,  and  in  annuity  provisions  of  previous  treaties  to  the 
amount  of  over  $1,000,000  capital  I  Is  not  their  long  suffer- 
ing, their  patience,  well-nigh  incredible  ? 

Spite  of  the  dread  of  being  fired  on  by  the  United  States 
troops,  they  continued  to  make  canoes  and  escape  in  them  from 
this  "  new  home  "  in  the  desert,  and  in  October  the  Depart- 
ment of  the  Interior  began  to  receive  letters  containing  para- 
graphs like  this :  "I  have  also  to  report  that  small  detachments 
of  Winnebagoes  are  constantly  arriving  in  canoes,  locating  on 
our  reserve,  and  begging  for  food  to  keep  them  from  starv- 
ing."— Agent  for  Omaha  Agency. 

These  are  the  men  who  only  one  year  before  had  been  liv- 
ing  in  comfortable  homes,  with  several  hundred  acres  of  good 
ground  under  cultivation,  and  "  clamoring  for  certificates  "  of 
their  "  allotted  "  farms — now  shelterless,  worse  than  homeless, 
escaping  by  canoe-loads,  under  fire  of  United  States  soldiers, 
from  a  barren  desert,  and  "clamoring"  for  food  at  Indian 
agencies ! 

The  Department  of  the  Interior  promptly  reports  to  the  Su- 
perintendent of  Indian  Affairs  in  Minnesota  this  "  information," 
and  calls  it  "  astounding."  The  Department  had  "  presumed 
that  Agent  Balcombe  would  adopt  such  measures  as  would  in- 
duce the  Winnebagoes  to  remain  upon  their  reservation,"  and 
had  "  understood  that  ample  arrangements  had  been  made  for 
their  subsistence."  It,  however,  ordered  the  Omaha  agent  to 
feed  the  starving  refugees  till  spring,  and  it  sent  word  to  those 
still  remaining  on  the  reservation  that  they  must  not  "under- 
take to  remove  without  the  consent  of  their  Great  Father,  as  it 
is  his  determination  that  a  home  that  shall  be  healthy,  pleasant, 
and  fertile,  shall  be  furnished  to  them  at  the  earliest  practicable 

This  was  in  the  autumn  of  1863.  In  one  year  no  less  than 
1222  of  the  destitute  Winnebagoes  had  escaped  and  made 
their  way  to  the  Omaha  Reservation  in  Nebraska.  Here  the 


Superintendent  of  the  Northern  Superintendency  held  a  coun- 
cil with  them. 

"  They  expressed,"  he  says,  "  a  strong  desire  to  have  some 
arrangement  made  by  which  they  would  be  allowed  to  occupy 
a  portion  of  that  reservation.  It  was  represented  that  the 
Omahas  wished  it  also.  *  *  *  I  found  that  I  could  not  gain 
their  consent  to  go  back  to  their  reservation,  and  I  had  no 
means  within  my  reach  of  forcing  them  back,  even  if  I  had 
deemed  it  proper  to  do  so."  The  superintendent  recommended, 
therefore,  that  they  be  subsisted  where  they  were  "  until  some 
arrangement  be  made  for  their  satisfaction,  or  some  concert  of 
action  agreed  upon  between  the  War  Department  and  the  In- 
terior Department  by  which  they  can  be  kept  on  their  reser- 
vation after  they  shall  have  been  moved  there." 

In  September  of  this  same  year  the  agent  for  the  Winne- 
bago  Keserve  wrote  that  the  absence  of  a  protecting  force  had 
been  one  of  the  reasons  of  the  Indians  leaving  in  such  num- 
bers. "  Both  the  Winnebagoes  and  Sioux  who  have  stayed  here 
have  lived  in  fear  and  trembling  close  to  the  stockade,  and  have 
refused  to  separate  and  live  upon  separate  tracts  of  land." 

He  gives  some  further  details  as  to  the  soil  and  climate. 
"  The  region  has  been  subject,  as  a  general  rule,  to  droughts, 
and  the  destructive  visits  of  grasshoppers  and  other  insects. 
The  soil  has  a  great  quantity  of  alkali  in  it ;  it  is  an  excessive- 
ly dry  climate ;  it  very  seldom  rains,  and  dews  are  almost  un- 
known here :  almost  destitute  of  timber.  *  *  *  It  is  generally 
supposed  that  game  is  plenty  about  here.  This  is  an  errone- 
ous impression.  There  are  but  a  very  few  small  streams,  an 
entire  absence  of  lakes,  and  an  almost  entire  destitution  of  tim- 
ber— the  whole  country  being  one  wilderness  of  dry  prairie  for 
hundreds  of  miles  around ;  hence  there  is  but  a  very  h'ttle 
small  'game,  fish,  or  wild  fruit  to  be  found.  In  former  times 
.  the  buffalo  roamed  over  this  country,  but  they  have  receded, 
and  very  seldom  come  here  in  any  numbers.  *  *  *  The  Indiana 


must  have  horses  to  hunt  them :  horses  they  have  not.  The 
Winnebagoes  had  some  when  they  first  arrived,  but  they  \vere 
soon  stolen  by  the  hostile  Sioux." 

Agent  Balcombe  must  have  led  a  hard  life  on  this  reserva- 
tion. Exposed  to  all  the  inconveniences  of  a  remote  frontier, 
three  hundred  miles  from  any  food-raising  country ;  receiving 
betters  from  the  Interior  Department  expressing  itself  "  astound- 
ed "  that  he  does  not  "  induce  the  Indians  in  his  charge  to  re- 
main on  their  reservation ;"  and  letters  from  citizens,  and  peti- 
tions from  towns  in  Wisconsin,  Minnesota,  Iowa,  and  Nebras- 
ka, imploring  him  to  "  gather  up  "  all  the  wandering  Winne- 
bagoes who  have  been  left  behind ;  unprovided  with  any  proper 
military  protection,  and  surrounded  by  hostile  Indians  —  no 
wonder  that  he  recommends  to  the  Government  "  to  remove 
and  consolidate  "  the  different  tribes  of  Indians  into  "  one  ter- 
ritory "  as  soon  as  possible. 

The  effects  of  this  sojourn  in  the  wilderness  upon  the  Win- 
nebagoes were  terrible.  Not  only  were  they  rendered  spiritless 
and  desperate  by  sufferings,  they  were  demoralized  by  being 
brought  again  into  conflict  with  the  wild  Sioux.  They  had 
more  than  one  skirmish  with  them,  and,  it  is  said,  relapsed  so 
far  into  the  old  methods  of  their  barbaric  life  that  at  one  of 
their  dances  they  actually  roasted  and  ate  the  heart  of  a  Sioux 
prisoner !  Yet  in  less  than  a  year^  after  they  were  gathered  to- 
gether once  more  on  the  Omaha  Reservation,  and  began  again 
to  have  hopes  of  a  "  permanent  home,"  we  find  their  chiefs  and 
headmen  sending  the  following  petition  to  Washington : 

From  the  chiefs,  braves,  and  headmen  of  your  dutiful  children 
the  Winnebagoes. 

"  Father,  we  cannot  see  you.  You  are  far  away  from  us. 
We  cannot  speak  to  you.  We  will  write  to  you ;  and,  Father, 
we  hope  you  will  read  our  letter  and  answer  us. 


"  Father :  Some  years  ago,  when  we  had  our  homes  on 
Turkey  River,  we  had  a  school  for  our  children,  where  many  of 
them  learned  to  read  and  write  and  work  like  white  people,  and 
we  were  happy. 

"Father:  Many  years  have  passed  away  since  our  school 
was  broken  up ;  we  have  no  such  schools  among  us,  and  our 
children  are  growing  up  in  ignorance  of  those  things  that 
should  render  them  industrious,  prosperous,  and  happy,  and 
we  are  sorry.  Father :  It  is  our  earnest  wish  to  be  so  situated 
no  longer.  It  is  our  sincere  desire  to  have  again  established 
among  us  such  a  school  as  we  see  in  operation  among  your 
Omaha  children.  Father :  As  soon  as  you  find  a  permanent 
home  for  us,  will  you  not  do  this  for  us  ?  And,  Father,  as  we 
would  like  our  children  taught  the  Christian  religion,  as  before, 
we  would  like  our  school  placed  under  the  care  of  the  Presby- 
terian Board  of  Foreign  Missions.  And  last,  Father,  to  show 
you  our  sincerity,  we  desire  to  have  set  apart  for  its  establish- 
ment, erection,  and  support,  all  of  our  school-funds  and  what- 
ever more  is  necessary. 

"  Father :  This  is  our  prayer.  Will  not  you  open  your  ears 
and  heart  to  us,  and  write  to  us?" 

This  letter  was  signed  by  thirty-eight  of  the  chiefs  and  head- 
men of  the  Winnebagoes. 

In  March,  1865,  a  new  treaty  was  made  between  the  Unit- 
ed States  and  this  long-suffering  tribe  of  Indians,  by  which,  in 
consideration  of  their  "  ceding,  selling,  and  conveying  "  to  the 
United  States  all  their  right  in  the  Dakota  Reserve,  the  United 
States  agreed  "  to  set  apart  for  the  occupation  and  future  home 
of  the  Winnebago  Indians  forever"  a  certain  tract  of  128,000 
acres  in  Nebraska — a  part  of  the  Omaha  Reservation  which  the 
Omahas  were  willing  to  sell.  The  United  States  also  agreed  to 
erect  mills,  break  land,  furnish  certain  amounts  of  seeds,  tools, 
guns,  and  horses,  oxen  and  wagons,  and  to  subsist  the  tribe  for 


one  year,  as  some  small  reparation  for  the  terrible  losses  and 
sufferings  they  had  experienced.  From  this  word  "  forever " 
the  Winnebagoes  perhaps  toot  courage. 

At  the  time  of  their  removal  from  Minnesota,  among  the 
fugitives  -who  fled  back  to  "Wisconsin  was  the  chief  De  Carry. 
He  died  there,  two  years  later,  in  great  poverty.  He  was  very 
old,  but  remarkably  intelligent ;  he  was  the  grandson  of  Ho* 
po-ko-e-kaw,  or  "  Glory  of  the  Morning,"  who  was  the  queen 
of  the  Winnebagoes  in  1776,  when  Captain  Carver  visited 
the  tribe.  There  is  nothing  in  Carver's  quaint  and  fascinating 
old  story  more  interesting  than  his  account  of  the  Winnebaga 
country.  He  stayed  with  them  four  days,  and  was  entertain- 
ed by  them  "  in  a  very  distinguished  manner."  Indeed,  if  we 
may  depend  upon  Captain  Carver's  story,  all  the  North-western 
tribes  were,  in  their  own  country,  a  gracious  and  hospitable 
people.  He  says :  "  I  received  from  every  tribe  of  them  the 
most  hospitable  and  courteous  treatment,  and  am  -convinced 
that,  till  they  are  contaminated  by  the  example  and  spirituous 
liquors  of  their  more  refined  neighbors,  they  will  retain  this 
friendly  and  inoffensive  conduct  toward  strangers." 

He  speaks  with  great  gusto  of  the  bread  that  the  Winne- 
bago  women  made  from  the  wild  maize.  The  soft  young 
kernels,  while  full  of  milk,  are  kneaded  into  a  paste,  the  cakes 
wrapped  in  bass-wood  leaves,  and  baked  in  the  ashes.  "  Better 
flavored  bread  I  never  ate  in  any  country,"  says  the  honest 

He  found  the  Winnebagoes'  home  truly  delightful.  The 
shores  of  the  lake  were  wooded  with  hickory,  oak,  and  hazel. 
Grapes,  plums,  and  other  fruits  grew  in  abundance.  The  lake 
abounded  in  fish;  and  in  the  fall  of  the  year  with  geese,  ducks, 
and  teal,  the  latter  much  better  flavored  than  those  found  near- 
er the  sea,  as  they  "  acquire  their  excessive  fatness  by  feeding 
on  the  wild  rice  which  grows  so  plentifully  in  these  parts." 

How  can  we  bear  to  contrast  the  picture  of  this  peace, 


plenty,  and  gracious  hospitality  among  the  ancient  Winneba- 
goes  with  the  picture  of  their  descendants — only  two  gener- 
ations later — hunted,  driven,  starved  ?  And  how  can  we  bear 
to  contrast  the  picture  of  the  drunken,  gambling  Winnebago 
of  Minnesota  with  this  picture  which  Captain  Carver  gives  of 
a  young  Winnebago  chief  with  whom  he  journeyed  for  a  few 

Captain  Carver,  after  a  four  days'  visit  with  the  Winneba- 
goes,  and  "  having  made  some  presents  to  the  good  old  queen, 
and  received  her  blessing,"  went  on  his  way.  Two  months 
later,  as  he  was  travelling  to  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  he  en- 
countered a  young  Winnebago  chief  going  on  an  embassy  to 
some  of  the  bands  of  the  "  Nadouwessies"  (Sioux).  This  young 
chief,  finding  that  Captain  Carver  was  about  to  visit  the  Falls, 
agreed  to  accompany  him,  "  his  curiosity  having  been  often  ex- 
cited by  the  accounts  he  had  received  from  some  of  his  chiefs. 
He  accordingly  left  his  family  (for  the  Indians  never  travel  with- 
out their  households)  at  this  place  under  charge  of  my  Mohawk 
servant,  and  we  proceeded  together  by  land,  attended  only  by 
my  Frenchman,  to  this  celebrated  place.  We  could  distinctly 
hear  the  noise  of  the  water  full  fifty  miles  before  we  reached 
the  Falls ;  and  I  was  greatly  pleased  and  surprised  when  I  ap- 
proached this  astonishing  work  of  nature ;  but  I  was  not  long 
at  liberty  to  indulge  these  emotions,  my  attention  being  called 
off  by  the  behavior  of  my  companion.  The  prince  had  no 
sooner  gained  the  point  that  overlooks  this  wonderful  cascade 
than  he  began  with  an  audible  voice  to  address  the  Great  Spir- 
it, one  of  whose  places  of  residence  he  imagined  this  to  be. 
He  told  him  that  he  had  come  a  long  way  to  pay  his  adora- 
tions to  him,  and  now  would  make  him  the  best  offerings  in 
his  power.  He  accordingly  threw  his  pipe  into  the  stream; 
then  the  roll  that  contained  his  tobacco ;  after  these  the  brace- 
lets he  wore  on  his  arms  and  wrists ;  next  an  ornament  that  en- 
circled his  neck,  composed  of  beads  and  wires ;  and  at  last  the 


ear-rings  from  his  ears ;  in  short,  he  presented  to  his  god  every 
part  of  his  dress  that  was  valuable.  Daring  this  he  frequently 
smote  his  breast  with  great  violence,  threw  his  arms  about,  and 
appeared  to  be  much  agitated.  All  this  while  he  continued 
his  adorations,  and  at  length  concluded  them  with  fervent  pe- 
titions that  the  Great  Spirit  would  constantly  afford  us  his  pro- 
tection on  our  travels,  giving  us  a  bright  sun,  a  blue  sky,  and 
clear,  untroubled  waters ;  nor  would  he  leave  the  place  till  we 
had  smoked  together  with  my  pipe  in  honor  of  the  Great 

"  I  was  greatly  surprised  at  beholding  an  instance  of  such 
elevated  devotion  in  so  young  an  Indian.  *  *  *  Indeed,  the  whole 
conduct  of  this  young  prince  at  once  charmed  and  amazed  me. 
During  the  few  days  we  were  together  his  attention  seemed  to 
be  totally  employed  in  yielding  me  every  assistance  in  his 
power,  and  even  in  so  short  a  time  he  gave  me  innumerable 
proofs  of  the  most  generous  and  disinterested  friendship,  so 
that  on  our  return  I  parted  from  him  with  the  greatest  re- 

In  1866  the  report  from  the  Winnebagoes  is  that  they  are 
"  improving ;"  manifest  "  a  good  degree  of  industry ;"  that  the 
health  of  the  tribe  is  generally  poor,  but  "  as  good  as  can  be 
expected  when  we  remember  their  exposures  and  sufferings 
during  the  last  three  years."  The  tribe  has  "  diminished  some 
four  or  five  hundred  since  they  left  Minnesota."  One  hun- 
dred soldiers  have  returned,  "  who  have  served  with  credit  to 
themselves  and  to  their  tribe  in  the  defence  of  their  country." 
No  school  has  yet  been  established  on  the  agency,  and  this  is 
said  to  be  "  their  greatest  want." 

The  superintendent  writes :  "  The  appropriations  under  the 
late  treaty  have  all  been  made,  and  the  work  of  fitting  up  the 
reservation  is  progressing.  It  affords  me  the  highest  personal 
satisfaction  to  assure  the  Department  that  this  deeply-wronged 
and  much-abused  tribe  will  soon  be  in  all  respects  comfortable 


and  self-sustaining.  They  entered  upon  their  new  reservation 
late  last  May,  and  during  the  present  year  they  have  raised  at 
least  twenty  thousand  bushels  of  corn." 

In  1867  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  says:  "The 
Winnebagoes  have  a  just  claim  against  the  Government  on  ac- 
count of  their  removal  from  Minnesota,  the  expenses  of  which 
were  borne  out  of  their  own  tribal  funds.  The -Government  is 
clearly  bound  in  all  honor  to  refund  to  them  moneys  thus 

It  would  seem  that  there  could  have  been  no  question  in  the 
beginning  as  to  who  should  pay  the  costs  of  such  a  removal  as 
that.  It  should  not  even  have  been  a  tax  on  the  general  Gov- 
ernment, but  on  the  State  of  Minnesota,  which  demanded  it — 
especially  as  there  was  no  shadow  of  doubt  that  the  demand 
was  made — not  because  the  citizens  of  Minnesota  had  any  real 
fear  of  the  peaceable  and  kindly  Winnebagoes  (who  were  as 
much  in  terror  of  the  Sioux  as  they  were  themselves),  but  be- 
cause they  "coveted  the  splendid  country  the  Winnebagoes 
were  occupying,  and  the  Sioux  difficulties  furnished  the  pretext 
to  get  rid  of  them  with  the  aid  of  Congressional  legislation." 

Some  members  of  the  tribe  who  remained  in  Minnesota 
still  claimed  their  "  allotted  "  lands ;  "  their  share  of  all  moneys 
payable  to  the  Winnebagoes  under  treaty  stipulations,  and  that 
their  share  of  the  funds  of  the  tribe  be  capitalized  and  paid  to 
them  in  bulk ;  their  peculiar  relations  as  Indians  be  dissolved, 
and  they  left  to  merge  themselves  in  the  community  where 
they  have  cast  their  lot."  The  commissioner  urges  upon  the 
Government  compliance  with  these  requests. 

In  1868  a  school  was  opened  on  the  Winnebago  Agency, 
and  had  a  daily  attendance  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  scholars. 
The  tribe  adopted  a  code  of  laws  for  their  government,  and 
the  year  was  one  of  peace  and  quietness,  with  the  exception 
of  some  dissatisfaction  on  the  part  of  the  Indians  in  regard  to 
three  hundred  cows,  which,  having  been  sent  to  the  agency  in 


fulfilment  of  one  of  the  provisions  of  the  treaty,  were  neverthe- 
less ordered  by  the  Indian  Bureau  to  be  "kept  as  Department 
stock."  The  Indians  very  naturally  held  that  they  had  a  right 
to  these  cows ;  nevertheless,  they  continued  peaceable  and  con- 
tented, in  the  feeling  that  they  had  "  at  last  found  a  home," 
where  they  might  "  hope  to  remain  and  cultivate  the  soil  with 
the  feeling  that  it  is  theirs,  and  that  their  children  will  not  in 
a  few  days  be  driven  from  their  well -tilled  and  productive 
lands."  They  are,  however,  "  growing  exceedingly  anxious  for 
the  allotment  of  their  lands  in  severalty." 

In  1869  "preparations"  were  "being  made  for  allotting  the 
lands  to  heads  of  families." 

In  1870  "  the  allotment  of  land  in  severalty  to  the  Indians  has 
been  nearly  completed,  each  head  of  a  family  receiving  eighty 
acres.  *  *  *  The  Indians  anxiously  look  for  the  patents  to  these, 
as  many  have  already  commenced  making  improvements.  *  *  * 
At  least  thirty  have  broken  four  acres  of  prairie  apiece,  and 
several  have  built  houses.  *  *  *  Three  schools  are  in  operation, 
and  four  hundred  acres  of  ground  under  cultivation." 

In  this  year  comes  also  an  interesting  report  fronf  the  stray 
"Winnebagoes  left  behind  in  "Wisconsin.  They  and  the  stray 
Pottawottomies  who  are  in  the  same  neighborhood  are  "  re- 
markably quiet  and  inoffensive,  giving  no  cause  of  complaint ; 
on  the  contrary,  the  towns  and  villages  where  they  trade  their 
berries,  maple-sugar,  etc.,  are  deriving  considerable  benefit  from 
them :  a  number  have  been  employed  in  lumbering,  harvesting, 
and  hop -picking.  A  number  of  mill- owners  and  lumbermen 
have  informed  me  that  the  Indians  they  have  employed  in  their 
business  have  been  steady,  good  hands.  *  *  *  There  are  near- 
ly one  thousand  of  these  Winnebagoes.  Some  of  them  have 
bought  land;  others  are  renting  it;  and  all  express  an  anxiety 
that  the  'Great  Father'  should  give  them  a  reservation  in  this 
region,  and  allow  them  to  remain." 

In  1871  the  Nebraska  Winnebagoes  deposed  their  old  chiefs, 


and  elected  twelve  new  ones, to  serve  one  year;  these  were 
mainly  from  the  younger  members  of  the  tribe  who  were  in 
favor  of  civilization  and  progress.  This  was  an  important  step 
toward  breaking  up  the  old  style  of  tribal  relations. 

In  1872  we  hear  again  from  the  "  strays  "  in  Wisconsin.  The 
whites  having  complained  of  them,  Congress  has  appropriated 
funds  to  move  them  to  their  respective  tribes  "  west  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi ;"  but  the  removal  has  not  been  undertaken  "  for  various 
reasons,"  and  the  commissioner  doubts  "  whether  it  can  be  ac- 
complished without  additional  and  severe  legislation  on  the 
part  of  Congress,  as  the  Indians  are  attached  to  the  country, 
and  express  great  repugnance  to  their  contemplated  removal 
from  it." 

The  poor  creatures  are  not  wanted  anywhere.  Spite  of 
their  being  "  steady,  good  hands  "  for  hired  labor,  and  useful 
to  towns  and  villages  in  furnishing  fruits  and  fish,  the  Wisconsin 
people  do  not  want  them  in  their  State.  And  the  agent  of  the 
Winnebago  Reservation  writes,  earnestly  protesting  against  their 
being  brought  there.  He  thinks  they  are  in  moral  tone  far 
below  the  Indians  under  his  charge.  Moreover,  he  says  "  the 
prejudice  in  the  surrounding  country  is  such"  that  he  believes 
it  would  be  bad  policy  to  remove  any  "more  Indians"  there. 
Nebraska  does  not  like  Indians  any  better  than  Wisconsin  does, 
or  Minnesota  did.  He  adds  also  that  his  Indians  "  would  be 
greatly  stimulated  to  improve  their  claims  if  they  could  secure 
the  titles  for  them.  They  have  waited  three  years  since  the 
first  allotments  were  made.  It  is  difficult  to  make  them  be- 
lieve that  it  requires  so  long  a  time  to  prepare  the  patents,  and 
they  are  beginning  to  fear  that  they  are  not  coming." 

In  18*73  the  Winnebagoes  are  cited  as  a  "  striking  example 
of  what  can  be  accomplished  in  a  comparatively  short  time  in 
the  way  of  civilizing  and  Christianizing  Indians.  *  *  *  Their 
beautiful  tract  of  country  is  dotted  over  with  substantially- 
built  cottages ;  the  farmers  own  their  wagons,  horses,  harness, 


furniture  of  their  houses  —  dress  in  civilized  costume,  raise 
Cr0ps — and  several  hundred  Winnebago  men  assisted  the  farm- 
ers in  adjoining  counties  during  the  late  harvest  in  gathering 
their  grain  crop,  and  proved  themselves  efficient  and  satisfac- 
tory workmen." 

In  the  winter  of  1874  the  Wisconsin  "strays"  were  moved 
down  to  the  Nebraska  Reservation.  They  were  discontented, 
fomented  dissatisfaction  in  the  tribe,  and  in  less  than  a  year 
more  than  half  of  them  had  wandered  back  to  Wisconsin 
again;  a  striking  instance  of  the  differences  in  the  Govern- 
ment's methods  of  handling  different  bands  of  Indians.  The 
thirty  Poncas  who  ran  away  from  Indian  Territory  were  pur- 
sued and  arrested,  as  if  they  had  been  thieves  escaping  with 
stolen  property ;  but  more  than  five  hundred  Winnebagoes,  in 
less  than  one  year,  stroll  away  from  their  reserve,  make  their 
way  back  to  Wisconsin,  and  nothing  is  done  about  it. 

In  1875  there  are  only  two  hundred  and  four  of  the  Wiscon- 
sin "  strays  "  left  on  the  Nebraska  Reservation.  All  the  others 
are  "  back  in  their  old  haunts,  where  a  few  seem  to  be  making 
a  sincere  effort  to  take  care  of  themselves  by  taking  land  under 
the  Homestead  Act" 

The  Nebraska  Winnebagoes  are  reported  as  being  "  nearly 
civilized ;"  all  are  engaged  in  civilized  pursuits,  "  the  men  work- 
ing with  their  own  hands,  and  digging  out  of  the  ground  three- 
fourths  of  their  subsistence."  They  have  raised  in  this  year 
20,000  bushels  of  corn,  5800  bushels  of  wheat,  and  6000  bush- 
els of  oats  and  vegetables.  They  have  broken  800  acres  of 
new  land,  and  have  built  3000  rods  of  fencing.  Nearly  one- 
sixth  of  the  entire  tribe  is  in  attendance  at  schools.  The  sys- 
tem of  electing  chiefs  annually  works  well ;  the  chiefs,  in  their 
turn,  select  twelve  Indians  to  serve  for  the  year  as  policemen, 
and  they  prove  efficient  in  maintaining  order. 

What  an  advance  in  six  years !  Six  years  ago  there  were  but 
twenty-three  homes  and  only  300  acres  of  land  under  cultiva- 


tion  on  the  whole  reservation;  the  people  were  huddled  to- 
gether in  ravines  and  bottom-lands,  and  were  dying  of  disease 
and  exposure. 

In  1876  the  Winnebagoes  are  reported  again  as  "fast  emerg- 
ing from  a  condition  of  dependence  upon  their  annual  appro- 
priations. *  *  *  Each  head  of  a  family  has  a  patent  for  eighty 
acres  of  land.  Many  have  fine  farms,  and  are  wholly  support 
ing  themselves  and  families  by  their  own  industry.  *  *  *  The 
issue  of  rations  has  been  discontinued,  except  to  the  Wisconsin 
branch  of  the  tribe  and  to  the  sick-list." 

In  what  does  this  report  differ  from  the  report  which  would 
be  rendered  from  any  small  farming  village  in  the  United 
States?  The  large  majority  "wholly  supporting  themselves 
and  their  families  by  their  own  industry ;"  a  small  minority  of 
worthless  or  disabled  people  being  fed  by  charity — i.  e.,  being 
fed  on  food  bought,  at  least  in  part,  by  interest  money  due  on 
capital  made  by  sales  of  land  in  which  they  had  a  certain  reck- 
onable  share  of  ownership.  Every  one  of  the  United  States  has 
in  nearly  every  county  an  almshouse,  in  which  just  such  a  class 
of  worthless  and  disabled  persons  will  be  found;  and  so  crowded 
are  these  almshouses,  and  so  appreciable  a  burden  is  their  sup- 
port on  the  tax-payers  of  State  and  county,  that  there  are  per- 
petual disputes  going  on  between  the  authorities  of  neighbor- 
ing districts  as  to  the  ownership  and  responsibility  of  individ- 
ual paupers:  for  the  paupers  in  civilized  almshouses  are  never 
persons  who  have  had  proceeds  of  land  sales  "  invested "  for 
their  benefit,  the  interest  to  be  paid  to  them  "  annually  for- 
ever." It  is  for  nobody's  interest  to  keep  them  paupers,  or  to 
take  care  of  them  as  sucb. 

We  now  find  the  Winnebagoes  once  more  quietly  established 
in  comfortable  homes — as  they  were,  in  their  own  primitive 
fashion,  in  1822,  when  Dr.  Morse  visited  them  on  the  shores 
of  their  beautiful  lake ;  as  they  were,  after  our  civilized  fash- 
ion, in  1862,  on  the  healthful  and  fertile  up-lands  of  Minne- 

246  A  CENTUEf  OP 

sota.  In  their  present  home  they  seem  to  have  reason,  at  last, 
to  feel  secure,  to  anticipate  permanence,  safety,  and  success. 
Their  lands  have  been  allotted  to  them  in  severalty :  each  head 
of  a  family  has  his  patent  for  eighty  acres.  They  are,  in  the 
main,  self-supporting. 

How  does  the  United  States  Government  welcome  this  suc- 
cess, this  heroic  triumph  of  a  patient  people  over  disheartening 
obstacles  and  sufferings? 

In  the  Annual  Eeport  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  for 
1876  the  Secretary  says:  "As  a  matter  of  economy,  the  great- 
est saving  could  be  made  by  uniting  all  the  Indians  upon  a  few 
reservations ;  the  fewer,  the  better."  He  says  that  there  is  land 
enough  in  the  Indian  Territory  to  give  every  Indian — man, 
woman,  and  child — in  the  country  seventy-five  acres  apiece.  He 
says,  "The  arguments  are  all  in  favor  of  the  consolidation." 
He  then  goes  on  to  enumerate  those  arguments :  "  Expensive 
agencies  would  be  abolished;  the  Indians  themselves  can  be 
more  easily  watched  over  and  controlled ;  evil-designing  men 
be  the  better  kept  away  from  them,  and  illicit  trade  and  barter 
in  arms  and  ammunition  and  whiskey  prevented.  Goods  could 
he  supplied  at  a  greater  saving ;  the  military  service  relieved ; 
the  Indians  better  taught,  and  friendly  rivalry  established  among 
them — those  most  civilized  hastening  the  progress  of  those  be- 
low them ;  and  most  of  the  land  now  occupied  as  reserves  re- 
verting to  the  General  Government,  would  be  open  to  entry  and 

Here  are  nine  reasons  given  for  removing  all  Indians  to  In- 
dian Territory.  Five  of  these  reasons  ostensibly  point  to  bene- 
fits likely  to  accrue  from  this  removal  to  the  Indians.  The 
other  four  point  to  benefits  likely  to  accrue  to  the  Govern- 
ment ;  the  first  three  of  these  last  are,  simply, "  saving ;"  the 
fourth  is  the  significant  one,  "gain" — "most  of  the  land  re- 
verting to  the  General  Government  would  be  open  to  entry  and 


It  was  before  this  necessity  of  opening  Indian  lands  "  to  en- 
try and  sale"  that  the  Winnebagoes  had  been  fleeing,  from 
1815  to  1863.  It  seems  they  are  no  safer  now.  There  is  evi- 
dently as  much  reason  for  moving  them  out  of  Nebraska  as 
there  was  for  moving  them  out  of  Wisconsin  and  Minnesota. 

The  Secretary  goes  on  to  say:  "As  soon  as  the  Indian  is 
taught  to  toil  for  his  daily  bread,  and  realize  the  sense  of  pro- 
prietorship in  the  results  of  his  labor,  it  cannot  but  be  further 
to  his  advantage  to  be  able  to  appreciate  that  his  labor  is  ex- 
pended upon  his  individual  possessions  and  for  his  personal 
benefit.  *  *  *  The  Indian  must  be  made  to  see  the  practical  ad- 
vantage to  himself  of  his  work,  and  feel  that  he  reaps  the  full 
benefit  of  it.  Everything  should  teach  him  that  he  has  a  home ; 
*  *  *  a  hearth-stone  of  his  own,  around  which  he  can  gather  his 
family,  and  in  its  possession  be  entirely  secure  and  independent." 

The  logical  relation  of  these  paragraphs  to  the  preceding  one 
is  striking,  and  the  bearing  of  the  two  together  on  the  case  of 
the  Winnebagoes  is  still  more  striking. 

In  the  same  report  the  Commissioner  for  Indian  Affairs 
says :  "If  legislation  were  secured  giving  the  President  author- 
ity to  remove  any  tribe  or  band,  or  any  portion  of  a  tribe  or 
band,  whenever  in  his  judgment  it  was  practicable,  to  any  one 
of  the  reservations  named,  and  if  Congress  would  appropriate 
from  year  to  year  a  sum  sufficient  to  enable  him  to  take  advan- 
tage of  every  favorable  opportunity  to  make  such  removals,  I 
am  confident  that  a  few  years'  trial  would  conclusively  demon- 
strate the  entire  feasibility  of  the  plan.  I  believe  that  all  the 
Indians  in  Kansas,  Nebraska,  and  Dakota,  and  a  part  at  least 
of  those  in  Wyoming  and  Montana,  could  be  induced  to  re* 
move  to  the  Indian  Territory." 

He  adds  "  that  the  Indian  sentiment  is  opposed  to  such  re- 
moval is  true,"  but  he  thinks  that,  "  with  a  fair  degree  of  per- 
sistence,'' the  removal  "  can  be  secured."  No  doubt  it  can. 

Later  in  the  same  report,  under  the  head  of  "  Allotments  in 


Severally,"  he  says :  "  It  is  doubtful  whether  any  high  degree 
of  civilization  is  possible  without  individual  ownership  of  land. 
The  records  of  the  past,  and  the  experience  of  the  present,  tes- 
tify that  the  soil  should  be  made  secure  to  the  individual  by 
all  the  guarantees  which  law  can  devise,  and  that  nothing  less 
will  induce  men  to  put  forth  their  best  exertions.  It  is  essen- 
tial that  each  individual  should  feel  that  his  home  is  his  own ; 
*  *  *  that  he  has  a  direct  personal  interest  in  the  soil  on  which 
he  lives,  and  that  that  interest  will  be  faithfully  protected  for 
him  and  for  his  children  by  the  Government." 

The  commissioner  and  the  secretary  who  wrote  these  clear 
statements  of  evident  truths,  and  these  eloquent  pleas  for  the 
Indians'  rights,  both  knew  perfectly  well  that  hundreds  of  In- 
dians had  had  lands  "  allotted  to  them  "  in  precisely  this  way, 
and  had  gone  to  work  on  the  lands  so  allotted,  trusting  "  that 
that  interest  would  be  faithfully  protected  by  the  G-overn- 
ment;"  and  that  these  "allotments,"  and  the  "certificates"  of 
them,  had  proved  to  be  good  for  nothing  as  soon  as  the  citizens 
of  a  State  united  in  a  "demand"  that  the  Indians  should  be 
moved.  The  commissioner  and  the  secretary  knew  perfectly 
well,  at  the  time  they  wrote  these  paragraphs,  that  in  this  one 
Winnebago  tribe  in  Nebraska,  for  instance,  "  every  head  of  a 
family  owned  eighty  acres  of  land,"  and  was  hard  at  work  on 
it — industrious,  self-supporting,  trying  to  establish  that "  hearth- 
stone "  around  which,  as  the  secretary  says,  he  must  "  gather 
his  family,  and  in  its  possession  be  entirely  secure  and  inde- 
pendent." And  yet  the  secretary  and  the  commissioner  advise 
the  moving  of  this  Winnebago  tribe  to  Indian  Territory  with 
the  rest :  "  all  the  Indians  in  Kansas,  Nebraska,  and  Dakota  " 
could  probably  be  "  induced  to  move,"  they  say. 

These  quotations  from  this  report  of  the  Interior  Department 
are  but  a  fair  specimen  of  the  velvet  glove  of  high-sounding 
phrase  of  philanthropic  and  humane  care  for  the  Indian,  by 
which  has  been  most  effectually  hid  from  the  sight  of  the 


American  people  the  iron  hand  of  injustice  and  cruelty  which 
has  held  him  for  a  hundred  years  helpless  in  its  grasp. 

In  this  same  year  an  agent  on  one  of  the  Nehraska  agencies 
writes  feelingly  and  sensibly : 

"  Nothing  has  tended  to  retard  the  progress  of  this  tribe  in 
the  line  of  opening  farms  for  themselves  so  much  as  the  unset- 
tlement  occasioned  by  a  continued  agitation  of  the  subject  of 
selling  their  reservation  and  the  removal  of  the  tribe.  *  *  *  The 
improvement  that  has  been  made  at  this  agency  during  the 
past  three  years  in  the  direction  of  developing  among  the  In- 
dians the  means  of  self-support,  seems  to  have  caused  an  unea- 
siness that  has  been  prolific  of  a  great  deal  of  annoyance,  inas- 
much as  it  has  alarmed  this  speculative  element  around  us  with 
the  fear  that  the  same  (continued)  will  eventually  plant  the  In- 
dians on  their  present  fertile  land  so  firmly  that  they  cannot 
be  removed,  and  thus  they  be  deprived  of  the  benefits  of  ma- 
nipulating the  sale  of  their  reservation." 

Nevertheless,  the  Winnebagoes  keep  on  in  their  work — 
building  houses,  school -buildings,  many  of  them  of  brick 
made  on  the  ground. 

In  this  year  (1876)  they  experienced  a  great  injustice  in  the 
passing  of  an  Act  of  Congress  fixing  the  total  amount  to  be 
expended  for  pay  of  employees  at  any  one  agency  at  not  more 
than  $10,000.  This  necessitated  the  closing  of  the  fine  build- 
ing they  had  built  at  a  cost  of  $20,000  for  the  purpose  of  an 
industrial  boarding-schooL 

In  this  year's  report  their  agent  gives  a  resume  of  the  finan- 
cial condition  of  the  tribe:  " By  treaty  proclaimed  June  16th, 
1838,  the  Winnebagoes  ceded  to  the  United  States  all  their 
land  east  of  the  Mississippi,  in  consideration  of  which  they 
were  to  receive  $1,100,000.  The  balance  of  this,  after  making 
certain  payments,  was  to  be  invested  for  their  benefit,  on  which 
the  United  States  guaranteed  to  pay  them  an  annual  interest 
of  not  less  than  five  per  cent. 



"  The  Winnebagoea  receive  no  support  from  the  Govern* 
inent,  other  than  from  the  interest  appropriated  annually  on 
what  remains  of  these  funds.  This  in  1870  amounted  to  over 
$50,000.  Since  then  the  half-breeds,  numbering  one  hundred 
and  sixty  persons,  members  of  the  tribe  remaining  in  Minneso- 
ta at  the  time  of  the  removal  of  the  Indians  from  that  State  in 
1863,  have,  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  the  act  mak- 
ing appropriations  for  the  Indian  service,  approved  March  3d, 
1871,  been  paid  their  proportion  of  the  principal  of  all  Winne- 
bago  funds,  as  shown  on  the  books  of  the  Treasury  at  that 
time,  including  the  proportion  of  $85,000,  on  which  but  five 
more  instalments  of  interest  were  to  be  paid,  per  fourth  Arti- 
cle treaty  October  13th,  1846.  In  computing  this  proportion, 
the  whole  number  of  the  tribe  considered  as  being  entitled  to 
participate  in  the  benefits  of  the  tribal  funds  was  1531 ;  which 
number  included  only  those  located  on  the  Winnebago  reser- 
vation in  Nebraska  at  that  time,  in  addition  to  the  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty  already  spoken  of.  By  this  Act  of  Congress 
the  Nebraska  Winnebagoes,  who  comprise  only  that  portion 
of  the  tribe  which  has  complied  with  treaty  stipulations,  and 
quietly  acquiesced  in  the  demands  of  the  Government,  were 
deprived  of  nearly  one-eighth  part  of  their  accustomed  support. 

"  Other  reductions  were  afterward  made  for  the  purchase  of 
a  reservation  adjoining  the  old  one  in  this  State,  and  for  remov- 
ing to  it  the  wandering  bands  of  Winnebagoes  in  Wisconsin. 
These  were  supposed  to  have  numbered  in  all  nearly  one  thou- 
sand persons.  They  had  not  been  in  the  habit  of  receiving  any 
attention  or  acknowledgment  from  the  Government  since  they, 
as  a  tribal  organization,  had  declined  to  treat  with  it.  Nearly 
all  of  them  objected  to  removing  from  Wisconsin  to  their  new 
reservation  in  Nebraska,  and,  as  a  natural  consequence,  soon 
returned  after  being  compelled  to  do  so.  At  the  present  time 
there  are  probably  less  than  one  hundred  of  the  number  re- 
maining here.  For  the  past  three  years  the  sum  to  which  the 


Wisconsin  Winnebagoes  would  have  been  entitled  Lad  they  re- 
mained on  their  reservation,  amounting  in  all  to  $48,521  07, 
has  been  set  apart,  awaiting  such  act  of  Congress  as  will  give 
relief  in  the  premises ;  thus  reducing  the  total  amount  received 
per  annum  by  that  portion  of  the  tribe  living  on  the  reserva- 
tion to  but  little  more  than  one-half  of  what  it  was  seven  years 
ago.  It  seems  needless  to  say  that  they  are  very  much  dissatis- 
fied at  this,  and  that  when  they  refer  to  the  subject  I  have  some 
difficulty  in  satisfying  them  as  to  the  justice  of  the  govern- 
mental policy  in  setting  apart  funds  (to  be  expended  at  some 
future  time)  for  the  benefit  of  certain  individuals  who  persist  in 
absenting  themselves  from  their  reservation,  while  others,  who 
are  absent  but  a  few  months,  are  deprived  of  all  advantages 
from  issues  of  supplies  or  payments  that  may  have  been  made 
during  their  absence." 

This  case  is  a  good  illustration  of  the  working  of  the  trustee 
relation  between  the  United  States  Government  and  its  wards. 

In  1877  we  find  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  still  recom- 
mending that  the  Indians  be  "  gradually  gathered  together  on 
smaller  reservations,"  to  the  end  that  "greater  facilities  be  af  * 
forded  for  civilization."  He  reiterates  that  "  the  enjoyment 
and  pride  of  individual  ownership  of  property  is  one  of  the 
most  effective  civilizing  agencies,"  and  recommends  that  "  al- 
lotments of  small  tracts  of  land  should  be  made  to  the  heads 
of  families  on  all  reservations,  to  be  held  in  severalty  under 
proper  restrictions,  so  that  they  may  have  fixed  homes." 

The  commissioner  also  recommends  "  a  steady  concentration 
of  the  smaller  bands  of  Indians  on  the  larger  reservations." 
He  calls-  attention  again  to  the  fact  that  there  are  58,000  square 
miles  in  the  Indian  Territory  "  set  apart  for  the  use  of  Indians, 
and  that  there  they  can  be  fed  and  clothed  at  a  greatly  dimin- 
ished expense ;  and,  better  than  all,  can  be  kept  in  obedience, 
and  taught  to  become  civilized  and  self-supporting." 

In  1878  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  reports  that  a 


bill  has  been  drawn  "  providing  for  the  removal  and  consolida- 
tion of  certain  Indians  in  the  States  of  Oregon,  Colorado,  Iowa, 
Kansas,  Nebraska,  Wisconsin,  and  Minnesota,  and  the  Territo- 
ries of  Washington  and  Dakota.  *  *  *  A  reduction  of  twenty- 
five  reservations  and  eleven  agencies  will  thus  be  effected.  *  *  * 
There  will  be  restored  to  the  public  domain  17,642,455  acres 
of  land."  He  says  that  "  further  consolidations  of  like  char- 
acter are  not  only  possible,  but  expedient  and  advisable.  *  *  * 
There  is  a  vast  area  of  land  in  the  Indian  Territory  not  yet  oc- 

With,  the  same  ludicrous,  complacent  logic  as  before,  he  pro- 
ceeds to  give  as  the  reason  for  uprooting  all  these  Indians  from 
the  homes  where  they  are  beginning  to  thrive  and  take  root, 
and  moving  them  again — for  the  third,  fourth,  fifth,  sixth,  or 
seventh  time,  as  it  may  be — the  fact  that,  "  among  the  most 
radical  defects  of  the  policy  formerly  pursued  with  the  Indians, 
has  been  the  frequent  changes  in  their  location  which  have 
been  made.  *  *  *  Permanent  homes,  sufficient  aid  to  enable 
them  to  build  houses,  cultivate  the  soil,  and  to  subsist  them 
until  they  have  harvested  their  first  crops,  will  wean  them  en- 
tirely from  their  old  methods  of  life,  and  in  the  course  of  a 
few  years  enable  them  to  become  entirely  self-supporting.  *  *  * 
Among  the  more  forcible  arguments  which  can  be  presented 
in  connection  with  this  subject  is  the  fact  that  the  expenses 
attending  the  removal  and  consolidation  of  the  Indians,  as  here- 
in proposed,  mil  be  more  than  met  from  the  sale  of  lands  va- 
cated. *  *  *  Much  of  the  land  now  owned  by  these  Indians  is 
valuable  only  for  its  timber,  and  may  be  sold  at  an  appraised 
value  for  an  amount  far  in  excess  of  the  price  fixed  by  law, 
and  yet  leave  a  large  margin  of  profit  to  the  purchaser  into 
whose  hands  the  lands  will  fall.  *  *  *  I  can  see  no  reason  why 
the  Government  should  not  avail  itself  of  these  facts,  and  in 
effecting  the  consolidation  of  the  Indians,  and  the  opening  of 
the  lands  for  settlement,  sell  the  same  for  an  amount  sufficient 


to  support  the  Indians  in  their  new  locations,  without  any  act- 
ual drain  on  the  Treasury  in  the  future.  *  *  *  The  lands  belong 
to  the  Indians,  and  they  are  clearly  entitled  to  receive  the  full 
value  of  the  same  when  sold." 

In  this  sentence  we  reach  the  high-water  mark  of  the  soph- 
istry and  dishonesty  of  the  Department's  position.  "The 
lands  belong  to  the  Indians,"  but  we  will  compel  them  to  "  re- 
store to  the  public  domain"  (i.  e.,  to  give  up  to  white 'settlers) 
17,642,455  acres  of  them.  The  Indians  "  are  clearly  entitled 
to  receive  the  full  value  of  the  same  when  sold,"  but  we  will 
compel  them  to  expend  that  "full  value"  in  removing  to  a 
place  where  they  do  not  want  to  go,  opening  new  lands,  build- 
ing new  houses,  buying  new  utensils,  implements,  furniture  and 
stock,  and  generally  establishing  themselves,  "  without  any  act- 
ual drain  on  the  Treasury"  of  the  United  States:  and  the 
Department  of  the  Interior  "  can  see  no  reason  why  the  Gov- 
ernment should  not  avail  itself  of  these  facts." 

All  this  is  proposed  with  a  view  to  the  benefit  of  the  Indians. 
The  report  goes  on  to  reiterate  the  same  old  story  that  the  In- 
dians must  have  *f  a  perfect  title  to  their  lands;"  that  they  have 
come  to  feel  that  they  are  at  any  time  liable  to  be  moved, 
"  whenever  the  pressure  of  white  settlers  upon  them  may  create 
a  demand  for  their  lands,"  and  that  they  "  decline  to  make  any 
improvements  on  their  lands,  even  after  an  allotment  in  sever- 
alty  has  been  made,  until  they  have  received  their  patents  for 
the  same,"  and  that  even  "  after  the  issue  of  patents  the  diffi- 
culties surrounding  them  do  not  cease."  Evidently  not,  since, 
as  we  have  seen,  it  is  now  several  years  since  every  head  of  a 
family  among  these  Winnebagoes,  whose  "removal"  the  com- 
missioner now  recommends,  secured  his  "patent"  for  eighty 
acres  of  land. 

Finally,  the  commissioner  says :  "  Every  means  that  human 
ingenuity  can  devise,  legal  or  illegal,  has  been  resorted  to  for 
the  purpose  of  obtaining  possession  of  Indian  lands,"  Of  this 


there  would  seem  to  be  left  no  doubt  in  the  mind  of  any  Intel- 
ligent  person,  after  reading  the  above  quotations. 

It  is  not  to  be  wondered  that  when  the  news  of  such  schemes 
as  these  reaches  the  Indians  on  their  reservations  great  alarm 
and  discontent  are  the  result.  We  find  in  the  reports  from 
the  Nebraska  agencies  for  this  year  unmistakable  indications 
of  disheartenment  and  anxiety.  The  Winnebagoes  are  report- 
ed to  be  very  anxious  to  be  made  citizens.  A  majority  are  in 
favor  of  it,  "  provided  the  Government  will  adopt  certain  meas- 
ures which  they  consider  necessary  for  the  care  and  protection 
of  their  property." 

They  have  had  a  striking  illustration  of  the  disadvantage  of 
not  being  citizens,  in  an  instance  of  the  unpunished  murder  of 
one  of  their  number  by  a  white  man.  The  story  is  related  by 
the  agent  tersely  and  well,  and  is  one  of  the  notable  incidents 
in  the  history  of  the  relation  between  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment and  its  wards. 

"  Henry  Harris,  a  Winnebago  in  good  standing,  an  indus- 
trious man  and  a  successful  farmer,  was  employed  by  Joseph 
Smith,  a  white  man,  to  cut  wood  on  his  land  in  Dakota  Coun- 
ty, a  short  distance  north  of  the  reservation.  While  alone  and 
thus  engaged,  on  the  29th  of  last  January,  Harris  was  shot 
through  the  heart  with  a  rifle-ball.  I  had  his  dead  body  taken 
before  the  coroner  of  the  county,  and  at  the  inquest  held  be- 
fore that  officer  it  was  shown,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  jury 
that  rendered  a  verdict  in  accordance  therewith,  that  the  In- 
dian came  to  his  death  at  the  hands  of  one  D.  Balinska,  who 
had  been  for  many  years  leading  a  hermit's  life  on  a  tract  of 
land  that  he  owned  adjoining  the  reservation,  and  who  had 
threatened  Harris's  life  a  few  months  before,  when  they  quar- 
relled about  damages  for  corn  destroyed  by  Balinska's  horse. 
There  being  snow  on  the  ground  at  the  time  of  the  murder, 
Balinska  was  tracked  from  his  home  to  the  place  where,  under 
cover,  he  did  the  shooting ;  and  his  shot-pouch,  containing  a 


moulded  ball  of  the  same  weight  as  the  one  cut  from  the  body 
of  the  Indian,  was  found  near  by  and  identified.  Notwith- 
standing this  direct  evidence,  which  was  laid  before  the  Grand- 
jury  of  Dakota  County,  that  honorable  body  was  unwilling  to 
find  a  '  true  bill ;'  for  the  reason,  as  I  understand,  that  it  was  only 
an  Indian  that  was  killed,  and  it  would  not  be  popular  to  incur 
the  expense  of  bringing  the  case  to  trial.  This  is  but  another 
illustration  of  the  difficulty  of  punishing  a  white  man  for  a 
wrong  committed  against  an  Indian.  I  need  hardly  say  that 
the  Indians,  when  comparing  this  murder  with  that  of  a  white 
man,  committed  eight  years  ago  by  five  of  their  young  men — 
who,  upon  less  direct  evidence,  were  sentenced  to  imprisonment 
in  the  State  Penitentiary  for  life — are  struck  with  the  wonder- 
ful difference  in  the  application  of  the  same  law  to  whites  and 

The  report  from  the  Winnebago  Agency  for  1879  tells  the 
story  of  the  sequel  to  this  unpunished  murder  of  Henry  Har- 
ris. The  agent  says :  "  In  my  last  report  I  referred  to  the  mur- 
der of  one  of  our  best  Indian  fanners  by  a  white  man,  who  was 
afterward  arrested  and  discharged  without  trial,  though  there 
was  no  question  as  to  his  guilt.  As  a  sequel  to  this,  one  white 
man  is  known  to  have  been  killed  last  May  by  Holly  Scott,  a 
nephew  of  the  murdered  Indian;  and  another  white  man  is 
supposed  to  have  been  killed  by  Eddy  Priest  and  Thomas 
Walker,  two  young  Indians  who  have  left  for  Wisconsin.  The 
murdered  white  men  had  temporarily  stopped  with  the  Indians. 
Their  antecedents  are  unknown,  and  they  are  supposed  to  have 
belonged  to  the  fraternity  of  tramps.  Holly  Scott  was  arrested 
by  the  Indian  police,  and  turned  over  to  the  authorities  of  Da- 
kota County  for  trial,  the  State  Legislature  having  at  its  last 
session  extended  the  jurisdiction  of  that  county  over  this  reser- 
vation, by  what  authority  I  am  unable  to  say. 

"  The  effect  of  these  murders  was  to  unsettle  the  Indians, 
nearly  all  industry  being  suspended  for  several  weeks.  They 


feared  that  the  white  people  would  do  as  they  did  in  Minneso- 
ta in  1862,  after  the  Sioux  massacre,  when  the  Winnebagoes 
were  driven  from  their  homes  in  Minnesota.  *  *  *  A  number 
of  our  most  quiet  and  industrious  men  became  alarmed,  and 
moved  their  families  to  Wisconsin,  encouraged  in  so  doing  by 
the  hope  of  receiving  from  the  Government  a  share  of  the 
funds  which  have  been  set  apart  from  the  annual  appropriations 
during  the  past  four  years  for  the  benefit  of  the  Wisconsin 
Winnebagoes,  and  which  they  suppose  aggregate  a  large  amount 
which  will  soon  be  paid  in  cash." 

This  brings  the  story  of  the  Winnebagoes  down  to  the 
present  time.  What  its  next  chapter  may  be  is  saddening  to 
think.  It  is  said  by  those  familiar  with  the  Nebraska  Indians  -. 
that,  civilized  though  they  be,  they  will  all  make  war  to  the 
knife  if  the  attempt  is  made  by  the  Government  to  rob  them 
of  their  present  lands  on  the  plea  again  of  offering  them  a 
"permanent  home."  That  specious  pretence  has  done  its  last 
duty  in  the  United  States  service.  No  Indian  is  left  now  so 
imbecile  as  to  believe  it  once  more. 

Whether  the  Winnebagoes'  "  patents "  in  Nebraska  would, 
in  such  a  case,  prove  any  stronger  than  did  their  "  certificates  " 
in  Minnesota,  and  whether  the  Winnebagoes  themselves,  peace- 
able and  civilized  though  they  be,  would  side  with  the  United 
States  Government,  or  with  their  wronged  and  desperate  breth- 
ren, in  such  an  uprising,  it  would  be  hard  to  predict. 




THE  Cherokees  were  the  Eastern  Mountaineers  of  America. 
Their  country  lay  along  the  Tennessee  River,  and  in  the  high- 
lands of  Georgia,  Carolina,  and  Alabama — the  loveliest  region 
east  of  the  Mississippi  River.  Beautiful  and  grand,  with  lofty 
mountains  and  rich  valleys  fragrant  with  flowers,  and  forests  of 
magnolia  and  pine  filled  with  the  singing  of  birds  and  the  mel- 
ody of  streams,  rich  in  fruits  and  nuts  and  wild  grains,  it  was 
a  country  worth  loving,  worth  fighting,  worth  dying  for,  as 
thousands  of  its  lovers  have  fought  and  have  died,  white  men 
as  well  as  red,  within  the  last  hundred  years. 

When  Oglethorpe  came  with  his  cargo  of  Madeira  wine  and 
respectable  paupers  from  England  in  1733,  and  lived  in  tents 
in  midwinter  on  the  shores  of  the  Savannah  River,  one  of  the 
first  conditions  of  safety  for  his  colossal  almshouse,  in  shape  of 
a  new  colony,  was  that  all  the  Indians  in  the  region  should  be- 
come its  friends  and  allies. 

The  reputation  of  his  goodness  and  benevolence  soon  pene- 
trated to-  the  fastnesses  of  their  homes,  and  tribe  after  tribe 
sent  chiefs  and  headmen  to  greet  him  with  gifts  and  welcome. 
When  the  Cherokee  chief  appeared,  Oglethorpe  said  to  him, 
"  Fear  nothing.  Speak  freely."  "  I  always  speak  freely,"  an- 
swered the  mountaineer.  "Why  should  I  fear?  I  am  now 
among  friends :  I  never  feared,  even  among  my  enemies." 

The  principal  intention  of  the  English  trustees  who  incorpo- 
rated the  Georgia  colony  was  to  provide  a  home  for  worthy 
persons  in  England  who  were  "in  decayed  circumstances/1 


Among  other  great  ends  which  they  also  avowed  was  "the 
civilization  of  the  savages."  In  one  of  Oglethorpe's  first  re- 
ports to  the  trustees  he  says:  "A  little  Indian  nation — the  only 
one  within  fifty  miles — is  not  only  in  amity,  but  desirous  to  be 
subjects  to  his  Majesty  King  George ;  to  have  lands  given  to 
them  among  us,  and  to  breed  their  children  at  our  schools. 
Their  chief  and  his  beloved  man,  who  is  the  second  man  in  the 
nation,  desire  to  be  instructed  in  the  Christian  religion." 

The  next  year  he  returned  to  England,  carrying  with  him 
eight  Indian  chiefs,  to  show  them  "  so  much  of  Great  Britain 
and  her  institutions  as  might  enable  them  to  judge  of  her  pow- 
er and  dignity.  *  *  *  Nothing  was  neglected,"  we  are  told,  "that 
was  likely  to  awaken  their  curiosity  or  impress  them  with  a 
sense  of  the  power  and  grandeur  of  the  nation."  They  were 
received  by  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  and  by  the  Fellows 
of  Eton,  and  for  a  space  of  four  months  were  hospitably  en- 
tertained, and  shown  all  the  great  sights  of  London  and  its 

The  tribes  at  home  were  much  gratified  by  these  attentions 
paid  to  their  representatives,  and  sent  out  to  the  trustees  a  very 
curious  missive,  expressing  their  thanks  and  their  attachment 
to  General  Oglethorpe.  This  letter  was  the  production  of  a 
young  Cherokee  chief.  It  was  written  in  black  and  red  hiero- 
glyphs on  a  dressed  buffalo-skin.  Before  it  was  sent  to  Eng- 
land it  was  exhibited  in  Savannah,  and  the  meaning  of  the 
hieroglyphs  translated  by  an  interpreter  in  a  grand  gathering 
of  fifty  Indian  chiefs  and  all  the  principal  people  of  Savannah. 
Afterward  the  curious  document  was  framed  and  hung  up  in 
the  Georgia  Office  in  Westminster. 

When  the  Wesleyan  missionaries  arrived  in  Georgia,  two 
years  later,  some  of  the  chiefs  who  had  made  this  visit  to  Eng- 
land went  to  meet  them,  carrying  large  jars  of  honey  and  of 
milk  as  gifts,  to  "  represent  their  inclinations ;"  and  one  of  the 
chiefs  said  to  Mr.  Wesley,  "  I  aan  glad  you  are  come.  When  I 


was  in  England  I  desired  that  some  one  would  speak  the  Great 
Word  to  me.  I  will  go  up  and  speak  to  the  wise  men  of  our 
nation,  and  I  hope  they  will  hear.  But  we  would  not  be  made 
Christians  as  the  Spaniards  make  Christians;  we  would  bo 
taught  before  we  are  baptized." 

In  those  early  days  Wesley  was  an  intolerant  and  injudicious 
enthusiast.  His  missionary  work  in  the  Georgia  Colony  was 
anything  but  successful  in  the  outset,  either  among  the  whites 
or  the  Indians,  and  there  was  ample  justification  for  the  reply 
which  this  same  Indian  chief  made  later  when  urged  to  em- 
brace the  doctrines  of  Christianity. 

"  Why,  these  are  Christians  at  Savannah.  Those  are  Chris- 
tians at  Frederica.  Christians  get  drunk !  Christians  beat  men ! 
Christians  tell  lies !  Me  no  Christian  1"  On  another  occasion 
Wesley  asked  him  what  he  thought  he  was  made  for.  "  He 
that  is  above,"  answered  the  chief,  "  knows  what  he  made  us 
for.  We  know  nothing ;  we  are  in  the  dark ;  but  white  men 
know  much.  And  yet  white  men  build  great  houses,  as  if  they 
were  to  live  forever.  But  white  men  cannot  live  forever.  In  a 
little  time  white  men  will  be  dust  as  well  as  I." 

For  twenty  years  Oglethorpe's  colony  struggled  on  under 
great  difficulties  and  discouragements.  Wars  with  France  and 
with  Spain;  tiresome  squabbles  with  and  among  Methodist 
missionaries,  all  combined  to  make  Oglethorpe's  position  hard. 
Again  and  again  England  would  have  lost  her  colony  except 
for  the  unswerving  fidelity  of  the  Indian  allies;  they  gath- 
ered by  hundreds  to  fight  for  Oglethorpe.  In  one  expedition 
against  the  frontier,  four  hundred  Creeks  and  six  hundred 
Cherokees  set  out  in  one  day,  under  an  urgent  call  for  help 
sent  by  Indian  runners  to  their  towns.  His  Indian  friends 
were  the  only  friends  Oglethorpe  had  who  stood  by  him  past 
everything :  nothing  could  shake  their  fidelity. 

"  He  is  poor ;  he  can  give  you  nothing,"  said  the  St.  Au- 
gustine Spaniards  to  a  Creek  chief  at  this  time ;  "  it  is  foolish 


for  you  to  go  to  him :"  and  they  showed  to  the  Indian  a  fine 
suit  of  scarlet  clothes,  and  a  sword,  which  they  were  about  to 
give  to  a  chief  of  the  Tennessees  who  had  become  their  ally. 

But  the  Creek  answered,  "  We  love  him.  It  is  true,  he  does 
not  give  us  silver ;  but  he  gives  us  everything  we  want  that  he 
has.  He  has  given  me  the  coat  off  his  back,  and  the  blanket 
from  under  him." 

At  last  the  trustees  of  the  Georgia  Colony  lost  patience, 
very  bitterly  they  had  learned  that  paupers,  however  worthy, 
are  not  good  stuff  to  build  new  enterprises  of.  In  eighteen 
years  the  colony  had  not  once  furnished  a  sufficient  supply  of 
subsistence  for  its  own  consumption :  farms  which  had  been 
cultivated  were  going  to  ruin ;  and  the  country  was  rapidly  de- 
generating in  eveiy  respect.  Dishonest  traders  had  tampered 
with  and  exasperated  the  Indians,  so  that  their  friendliness 
could  no  longer  be  implicitly  trusted.  For  everything  that 
went  wrong  the  English  Company  was  held  responsible,  and 
probably  there  were  no  happier  men  in  all  England  on  the  20th 
of  June,  1752,  than  were  the  Georgia  trustees,  who  on  that 
day  formally  resigned  their  charter,  and  washed  their  hands  of 
the  colony  forever. 

The  province  was  now  formed  into  a  royal  government,  and 
very  soon  became  the  seat  of  frightful  Indian  wars.  The  new 
authorities  neither  understood  nor  kept  faith  with  the  Indians : 
their  old  friend  Oglethorpe  had  left  them  forever,  and  the  same 
scenes  of  treachery  and  massacre  which  were  being  enacted  at 
the  North  began  to  be  repeated  with  heart-sickening  similarity 
at  the  South.  Indians  fighting  Indians — fighting  as  allies  to- 
day with  the  French,  to-morrow  with  the  English;  treaties 
made,  and  broken  as  soon  as  made ;  there  was  neither  peace 
nor  safety  anywhere. 

At  last,  in  1*763,  a  treaty  was  concluded  with  the  chiefs  and 
headmen  of  five  tribes,  which  seemed  to  promise  better  things. 
The  Cherokees  and  Creeks  granted  to  the  King  of  England  a 


large  tract  of  land,  cleared  off  their  debts  with  the  sum  paid  fot 
it,  and  observed  its  stipulations  faithfully  for  several  years,  un- 
til peace  was  again  destroyed,  this  time  by  no  fault  of  the  In- 
dians, in  consequence  of  the  revolt  of  the  American  Colonies 
against  Great  Britain.  The  English  loyalists  in  Georgia  now 
availed  themselves  of  the  Indians'  old  habit  of  allegiance  to  the 
Crown.  One  of  their  leading  agents  took  a  Cherokee  woman 
as  his  mistress,  placed  her  at  the  head  of  his  table,  gave  her  the 
richest  dress  and  equipage  that  the  country  could  afford,  and 
distributed  through  her  lavish  gifts  to  all  the  Indians  he  could 
reach.  When  war  actually  broke  out  he  retreated  with  her 
into  the  fastnesses  of  the  Cherokee  nation,  where  he  swayed 
them  at  his  will.  Attempts  to  capture  him  were  repelled  by 
the  Cherokees  with  ferocity.  Prisoners  taken  by  them  at  this 
time  were  tortured  with  great  cruelty ;  one  instance  is  recorded 
(in  a  journal  kept  by  another  prisoner,  who  escaped  alive)  of  a 
boy  about  twelve  years  of  age  who  was  suspended  by  the  arms 
between  two  posts,  and  raised  about  three  feet  from  the  ground. 
"  The  mode  of  inflicting  the  torture  was  by  light-wood  splints 
of  about  eighteen  inches  long,  made  sharp  at  one  end  and 
fractured  at  the  other,  so  that  the  torch  might  not  be  extin- 
guished by  throwing  it.  After  these  weapons  of  death  were 
prepared,  and  a  fire  made  for  the  purpose  of  lighting  them,  the 
scene  of  horror  commenced.  It  was  deemed  a  mark  of  dexter- 
ity, and  accompanied  by  shouts  of  applause,  when  an  Indian 
threw  one  of  these  torches  so  as  to  make  the  sharp  end  stick 
into  the  body  of  the  suffering  youth  without  extinguishing  the 
torch.  This  description  of  torture  was  continued  for  two  hours 
before  the  innocent  victim  was  relieved  by  death." 

These  are  sickening  details,  and  no  doubt  will  be  instinctive- 
ly set  down  by  most  readers  as  proof  of  innate  cruelty  peculiar 
to  the  Indian  race.  Let  us,  therefore,  set  side  by  side  with 
them  the  record  that  in  this  same  war  white  men  (British  of- 
ficers) confined  white  men  ("rebels")  in  prison-ships,  starved, 


and  otherwise  maltreated  them  till  they  died,  five  or  six  a  day, 
then  threw  their  dead  bodies  into  the  nearest  marsh,  and  had 
them  "trodden  down  in  the  mud — from  whence  they  were  soon 
exposed  by  the  washing  of  the  tides,  and  at  low -water  the 
prisoners  beheld  the  carrion-crows  picking  the  bones  of  their 
departed  companions !"  Also,  that  white  men  (British  officers) 
were  known  at  that  time  to  have  made  thumb-screws  out  of 
musket-locks,  to  torture  Georgia  women,  wives  of  "  rebels,"  to 
force  them  to  reveal  the  places  where  their  husbands  were  in 
hiding.  Innate  cruelty  is  not  exclusively  an  Indian  trait. 

The  Cherokees  had  the  worst  of  the  fighting  on  the  British 
side  during  the  Revolution.  Again  and  again  their  towns  were 
burnt,  their  winter  stores  destroyed,  and  whole  bands  reduced 
to  the  verge  of  starvation.  At  one  time,  when  hard  pressed  by 
the  American  forces,  they  sent  to  the  Creeks  for  help ;  but  the 
shrewd  Creeks  replied,  "  You  have  taken  the  thorns  out  of  our 
feet;  you  are  welcome  to  them."  The  Creeks,  having  given 
only  limited  aid  to  the  British,  had  suffered  much  less  severely. 
That  any  of  the  Indians  should  have  joined  the  "  rebel "  cause 
seems  wonderful,  as  they  had  evidently  nothing  to  gain  by  the 
transfer  of  their  allegiance  to  what  must  have  appeared  to 
them  for  a  long  time  to  be  the  losing  side  in  the  contest.  For 
three  years  and  a  half  Savannah  was  in  the  possession  of  the 
British,  and  again  and  again  they  had  control  of  the  entire 
State.  And  to  show  that  they  had  no  compunction  about  in- 
citing the  Indians  to  massacres  they  left  many  a  written  record 
— such,  for  instance,  as  this,  which  is  in  a  letter  written  by 
General  Gage  from  Boston,  June,  1775 :  "  We  need  not  be  ten- 
der of  calling  on  the  savages  to  attack  the  Americans."* 

The  first  diplomatic  relations  of  the  United  States  Govern- 
ment with  the  Cherokees  were  in  the  making  of  the  treaty  of 
Hopewell,  in  1785.  At  the  Hopewell  council  the  United  States 

*  See  Appendix,  Art.  X, 

ME   CflEEOKEES.  263 

commissioners  said :  "  Congress  is  now  the  sovereign  of  all  our 
country  which  we  now  point  out  to  you  on  tlio  map.  They 
want  none  of  your  lands,  nor  anything  else  which  belongs  to 
you ;  and  as  an  earnest  of  their  regard  for  you,  we  propose  to 
enter  into  articles  of  a  treaty  perfectly  equal  and  conformable 
to  what  we  now  tell  you.  *  *  *  This  humane  and  generous  act 
of  the  United  States  will  no  doubt  be  received  by  you  with 
gladness,  and  held  in  grateful  remembrance ;  and  the  more  so, 
as  many  of  your  young  men,  and  the  greater  number  of  your 
warriors,  during  the  late  war,  were  our  enemies,  and  assisted  the 
King  of  Great  Britain  in  his  endeavors  to  conquer  our  coun- 

The  chiefs  complained  bitterly  of  the  encroachments  of  white 
settlers  upon  lands  which  had  been  by  old  treaties  distinctly  re- 
served to  the  Cherokees.  They  demanded  that  some  of  these 
settlers  should  be  removed ;  and  when  the  commissioners  said 
that  the  settlers  were  too  numerous  for  the  Government  to  re- 
move, one  of  the  chiefs  asked,  satirically,  "Are  Congress,  who 
conquered  the  King  of  Great  Britain,  unable  to  remove  those 

Finally,  the  chiefs  agreed  to  accept  payment  for  the  lands 
which  had  been  taken.  New  boundaries  were  established,  and 
a  general  feeling  of  good-will  and  confidence  was  created.  One 
notable  feature  in  this  council  was  the  speech  of  an  Indian 
woman,  called  the  "  war-woman  of  Chota."  (Chota  was  the 
Cherokees'  city  of  refuge.  All  murderers  were  safe  so  long  as 
they  lived  in  Chota.  Even  Englishmen  had  not  disdained  to 
take  advantage  of  its  shelter;  one  English  trader  who  had 
killed  an  Indian,  having  fled,  lived  there  for  many  months,  his 
own  house  being  but  a  short  distance  away.  After  a  time  he 
resolved  to  return  home,  but  the  headmen  of  the  tribe  assured 
him  that,  though  he  was  entirely  safe  there,  he  would  surely  be 
killed  if  he  left  the  town.)  The  chief  who  brought  this  "  war- 
woman"  to  the  council  introduced  her  as  "one  of  our  beloved 


women  who  has  borne  and  raised  up  warriors."  She  proceed- 
ed to  say,  "  I  am  fond  of  hearing  that  there  is  a  peace,  and  I 
hope  you  have  now  taken  us  by  the  hand  in  real  friendship.  I 
have  a  pipe  and  a  little  tobacco  to  give  the  commissioners  to 
smoke  in  friendship.  I  look  on  you  and  the  red  people  as  my 
children.  Your  having  determined  on  peace  is  most  pleasing 
to  me,  for  I  have  seen  much  trouble  during  the  late  war.  I  am 
old,  but  I  hope  yet  to  bear  children  who  will  grow  up  and  peo- 
ple our  nation,  as  we  are  now  to  be  under  the  protection  of 
Congress,  and  shall  have  no  disturbance." 

A  brief  summary  of  the  events  which  followed  on  the  nego* 
tiation  of  this  treaty  may  be  best  given  in  the  words  of  a  re- 
port made  by  the  Secretary  of  "War  to  the  President  four  years 
later.  In  July,  1789,  General  Knox  writes  as  follows  of  the 
Cherokees :  "  This  nation  of  Indians,  consisting  of  separate 
towns  or  villages,  are  seated  principally  on  the  head-waters  of 
the  Tennessee,  which  runs  into  the  Ohio.  Their  hunting- 
grounds  extend  from  the  Cumberland  River  along  the  frontiers 
of  Virginia,  North  and  South  Carolina,  and  part  of  Georgia. 

"  The  frequent  wars  they  have  had  with  the  frontier  people 
of  the  said  States  have  greatly  diminished  their  number.  The 
commissioners  estimated  them  in  November,  1785,  at  2000 
warriors,  but  they  were  estimated  in  1787  at  2650;  yet  it  is 
probable  they  may  be  lessened  since  by  the  depredations  com- 
mitted on  them. 

"  The  United  States  concluded  a  treaty  with  the  Cherokees 
at  Hopewell,  on  the  Keowee,  the  28th  of  November,  1785, 
which  is  entered  on  the  printed  journals  of  Congress  April 
17th,  1786.  The  negotiations  of  the  commissioners  on  the 
part  of  the  United  States  are  hereunto  annexed,  marked  A.  It 
will  appear  by  the  papers  marked  B.  that  the  State  of  North 
Carolina,  by  their  agent,  protested  against  the  said  treaty  as  in- 
fringing and  violating  the  legislative  rights  of  that  State. 

"By  a  variety  of  evidence  which  has  been  submitted  to  the 


last  Congress,  it  lias  been  proved  that  the  said  treaty  has  been 
entirely  disregarded  by  the  white  people  inhabiting  the  fron- 
tiers, styling  themselves  the  State  of  Franklin.  The  proceed- 
ings of  Congress  on  the  1st  of  September,  1788,  and  the  proc- 
lamation they  then  issued  on  this  subject,  will  show  their 
sense  of  the  many  unprovoked  outrages  committed  against  the 

"  The  information  contained  in  the  papers  marked  C.,  from 
Colonel  Joseph  Martin,  the  late  agent  to  the  Cherokees,  and 
Richard  Winn,  Esq.,  will  further  evince  the  deplorable  situation 
of  the  Cherokees,  and  the  indispensable  obligation  of  the  United 
States  to  vindicate  their  faith,  justice,  and  national  dignity. 

"The  letter  of  Mr.  Winn,  the  late  superintendent,  of  the 
1st  of  March,  informs  that  a  treaty  will  be  held  with  the  Cher- 
okees on  the  third  Monday  of  May,  at  the  Upper  War-ford  on 
French  Broad  River.  But  it  is  to  be  observed  that  the  time 
for  which  both  he  and  Colonel  Joseph  Martin,  the  agent  to  the 
Cherokees  and  Chickasaws,  were  elected  has  expired,  and  there- 
fore they  are  not  authorized  to  act  on  the  part  of  the  Union. 
If  the  commissioners  appointed  by  North  Carolina,  South  Car- 
olina, and  Georgia,  by  virtue  of  the  resolve  of  Congress  of  the 
26th  of  October,  1787,  should  attend  the  said  treaty,  their  pro- 
ceedings thereon  may  soon  be  expected.  But,  as  part  of  the 
Cherokees  have  taken  refuge  within  the  limits  of  the  Creeks, 
it  is  highly  probable  they  will  be  under  the  same  direction ; 
and,  therefore,  as  the  fact  of  the  violation  of  the  treaty  cannot 
be  disputed,  and  as  the  commissioners  have  not  power  to  re- 
place the  Cherokees  within  the  limits  established  in  1785,  it  is 
not  probable,  even  if  a  treaty  should  be  held,  as  stated  by  Mr. 
Winn,  that  the  result  would  be  satisfactory." 

This  is  the  summing  up  of  the  situation.  The  details  of  it 
are  to  be  read  in  copious  volumes  of  the  early  history  of  Ten- 
nessee, North  and  South  Carolina,  and  Georgia — all  under  the 
head  of  "Indian  Atrocities."  To  very  few  who  read  those 


records  does  it  occur  that  the  Indians  who  committed  these 
"  atrocities  "  were  simply  ejecting  by  force,  and,  in  the  con- 
tests arising  from  this  forcible  ejectment,  killing  men  who  had 
usurped  and  stolen  their  lands — lands  ceded  to  them  by  the 
United  States  Government  in  a  solemn  treaty,  of  which  the 
fifth  Article  was  as  follows : 

"If  any  citizen  of  the  United  States  or  other  person,  not  be- 
ing an  Indian,  shall  attempt  to  settle  on  any  of  the  lands  west- 
ward or  southward  of  the  said  boundaries  which  are  hereby 
allotted  to  the  Indians  for  their  hunting-grounds,  or  having 
already  settled  and  will  not  remove  from  the  same  within  six 
months  after  the  ratification  of  this  treaty,  such  person  shall 
forfeit  the  protection  of  the  United  States,  and  the  Indians 
may  punish  him  or  not  as  they  please" 

It  is  evident  that  it  is  necessary  to  go  back  to  the  days  of 
the  first  treaties  with  our  Indians  to  possess  ourselves  of  the 
first  requisites  for  fair  judgment  of  their  conduct  toward  white 
men.  What  would  a  community  of  white  men,  situated  pre- 
cisely as  these  Cherokees  were,  have  done  ?  What  did  these 
very  Southern  colonists  themselves  do  to  Spaniards  who  en- 
croached on  their  lands?  Fought  them;  killed  them;  burnt 
their  houses  over  their  heads,  and  drove  them  into  the  sea ! 

In  a  later  communication  in  the  same  year  to  the  President, 
the  Secretary  says :  "  The  disgraceful  violation  of  the  treaty  of 
Hopewell  with  the  Cherokees  requires  the  serious  consideration 
of  Congress.  If  so  direct  and  manifest  contempt  of  the  au- 
thority of  the  United  States  be  suffered  with  impunity,  it  will 
be  in  vain  to  attempt  to  extend  the  arm  of  the  Government  to 
the  frontiers.  The  Indian  tribes  can  have  no  faith  in  such  im- 
becile promises,  and  the  lawless  whites  will  ridicule  a  govern- 
ment which  shall  on  paper  only  make  Indian  treaties  and  reg- 
ulate Indian  boundaries." 

The  President,  thus  entreated,  addressed  himself  to  the  Sen- 
ate, and  asked  their  advice.  He  recapitulated  the  facts  as  set 


forth  by  General  Knox,  "  that  upward  of  five  hundred  fami- 
lies are  settled  on  the  Cherokee  lands,"  and  asks, 

"  1st.  Is  it  the  judgment  of  the  Senate  that  overtures  shall  be 
made  to  the  Cherokees  to  arrange  a  new  boundary,  so  as  to 
embrace  the  settlements  made  by  the  white  people  since  the 
treaty  of  Hopewell  in  November,  1785  ? 

"  2d.  If  so,  shall  compensation  to  the  amount  of  $ annu- 
ally, or  of  $ in  gross,  be  made  to  the  Cherokees  for  the 

land  they  shall  relinquish,  holding  the  occupiers  of  the  land 
accountable  to  the  United  States  for  its  value? 

"  3d.  Shall  the  United  States  stipulate  solemnly  to  guarantee 
the  new  boundary  which  may  be  arranged  ?" 

The  Senate  thereupon  resolved  that  the  President  should, 
at  his  discretion,  cause  .the  Hopewell  treaty  to  be  carried  out, 
or  make  a  new  one ;  but,  in  case  a  new  one  was  made,  the 
"Senate  do  advise  and  consent  solemnly  to  guarantee  the 

Accordingly,  in  July,  1791,  a  new  treaty — the  treaty  of 
Holston — was  made  with  the  Cherokees,  new  boundaries  estab- 
lished, and  $1000  a  year  promised  to  the  tribe  for  the  lands 

By  the  seventh  Article  of  this  treaty  the  United  States  "  sol- 
emnly guarantee  to  the  Cherokee  nation  all  their  lands  not 
hereby  ceded :  the  eighth  Article  reiterates  the  old  permission 
that  if  any  citizen  of  the  United  States  or  other  person  (not  an 
Indian)  shall  settle  on  the  Cherokees'  lands,  the  Cherokees  may 
punish  him  as  they  please.  Article  ninth  says  that  no  citizen 
or  inhabitant  of  the  United  States  shall  hunt  or  destroy  game 
on  the  Cherokee  lands,  or  go  into  the  Cherokee  country  with- 
out a  passport  from  the  governor  or  some  other  authorized 

The  next  year  the  Cherokees  sent  an  embassy  to  Philadelphia 
to  ask  for  an  increase  of  $500  in  their  annuity.  One  of  the 
chiefs  said  that  he  had  told  Governor  Blunt  the  year  before 


that  he  would  not  consent  to  selling  the  lands  for  $1000  a 
year.  "It  would  not  buy  a  breech-clout  for  each  of  my  na- 
tion ;"  which  was  literally  true. 

To  this  additional  annuity  the  Senate  consented,  and  with 
this  the  chiefs  said  they  were  "  perfectly  satisfied."  But  they 
begged  for  the  ploughs,  hoes,  cattle,  etc.,  which  had  been  prom- 
ised in  the  treaty.  They  said,  "  Game  is  going  fast  away  from 
among  us.  We  must  plant  corn  and  raise  cattle,  and  we  want 
you  to  assist  us." 

In  1Y94  it  was  necessary  to  mate  another  treaty,  chiefly  to 
declare  that  the  Holston  treaty  was  in  "  full  force  and  bind- 
ing." It  had  not  been  "  fully  carried  into  execution  by  reason 
of  misunderstandings,"  it  was  said.  This  was  very  true ;  white 
settlers  had  gone  where  they  pleased,  as  if  it  did  not  exist ; 
Cherokees  had  murdered  them,  as  they  were,  by  their  treaty, 
explicitly  permitted  to  do.  The  whites  had  retaliated  by 
unprovoked  attacks  on  friendly  Indians,  and  the  Indians  had 
retaliated  again.  The  exasperated  Indians  implored  Congress 
to  protect  them :  the  still  more  exasperated  whites  demanded 
of  Congress  to  protect  them.  The  Secretary  of  War  writes 
despairingly,  that  "The  desire  of  too  many  frontier  white 
people  to  seize  by  force  or  fraud  on  the  neighboring  Indian 
lands  continues  to  be  an  unceasing  cause  of  jealousy  and 
hatred  on  the  part  of  the  Indians ;  and  it  would  appear,  upon 
a  calm  investigation,  that  until  the  Indians  can  be  quieted 
on  this  point,  and  rely  with  confidence  on  the  protection  of 
their  lands  by  the  United  States,  no  well-grounded  hope  of 
tranquillity  can  be  entertained." 

In  this  miserable  manner,  unjust  equally  to  the  white  men 
and  to  the  Indians,  affairs  went  on  for  several  years,  until  in 
1801  it  became  absolutely  necessary  that  in  some  way  a  definite 
understanding  of  boundaries,  and  an  authoritative  enforcement 
of  rights  on  both  sides,  should  be  brought  about ;  accordingly, 
commissioners  were  sent  by  the  President  "  to  obtain  the  con- 


sent  of  the  Cherokees "  to  new  grants  of  land  and  establish- 
ment of  boundaries.  The  instructions  given  to  these  commis- 
sioners are  remarkable  for  their  reiterated  assertion  of  the  In- 
dians' unquestioned  right  to  do  as  they  please  about  ceding  these 
lands.  Such  phrases  as  these :  "  Should  the  Indians  refuse  to 
cede  to  the  United  States  any  of  the  above-designated  lands,'* 
and  "  you  will  endeavor  to  prevail  upon  them  to  cede,"  and 
"  you  will  endeavor  to  procure  the  consent  of  the  Indians,"  are 
proof  of  the  fulness  of  the  recognition  the  United  States  Gov- 
ernment at  that  time  gave  of  the  Indians'  "  right  of  occupan- 
cy;1' also  of  the  realization  on  the  part  of  the  Government  that 
these  Indian  nations  were  powers  whose  good-will  it  was  of  im- 
portance to  conciliate.  "  It  is  of  importance,"  the  instructions 
say,  "  that  the  Indian  nations  generally  should  be  convinced  of 
the  certainty  in  which  they  may  at  all  times  rely  upon  the 
friendship  of  the  United  States,  and  that  the  President  will 
never  abandon  them  or  their  children;"  and,  "It  will  be  in- 
cumbent on  you  to  introduce  the  desires  of  the  Government  in 
such  a  manner  as  will  permit  you  to  drop  them,  as  you  may 
find  them  illy  received,  without  giving  the  Indians  an  opportu- 
nity to  reply  with  a  decided  negative,  or  raising  in  them  un- 
friendly and  inimical  dispositions.  You  will  state  none  of  them 
in  the  tone  of  demands,  but  in  the  first  instance  merely  mention 
them  as  propositions  which  you  are  authorized  to  make,  and 
their  assent  to  which  the  Government  would  consider  as  new 
testimonials  of  their  friendship." 

Nevertheless,  the  Cherokees  did  reply  with  "  a  decided  nega- 
tive." They  utterly  refused  to  cede  any  more  lands,  or  to  give 
their  consent  to  the  opening  of  any  more  roads  through  their 
territory.  Bat  it  only  took  four  years  to  bring  them  to  the 
point  where  they  were  ready  to  acquiesce  in  the  wishes  of  the 
Government,  and  to  make  once  more  the  effort  to  secure  to 
themselves  an  unmolested  region,  by  giving  up  several  large 
tracts  of  land  and  a  right  of  way  on  several  roads.  In  1805  they 


concluded  another  treaty,  ceding  territory  for  which  the  United 
States  thought  it  worth  while  to  pay  $15,000  immediately,  and 
an  annuity  of  $3000. 

Ten  years  later  (in  1816)  they  gave  up  all  their  lands  in 
South  Carolina,  and  the  United  States  became  surety  that 
South  Carolina  should  pay  to  them  $5000  for  the  same.  In 
the  autumn  of  the  same  year  they  made  still  another  cession  of 
lands  to  the  United  States  Government,  for  which  they  were  to 
have  an  annuity  of  $6000  a  year  for  ten  years,  and  $5000  as 
compensation  for  the  improvements  they  surrendered. 

In  1817  an  important  treaty  was  concluded,  making  still 
further  cessions  of  lands,  and  defining  the  position  of  a  part  of 
the  Cherokee  nation  which  had  moved  away,  with  the  Presi- 
dent's permission,  to  the  Arkansas  River  in  1809.  The  eighth 
Article  of  this  treaty  promises  that  the  United  States  will  give 
to  every  head  of  an  Indian  family  residing  on  the  east  side  of 
the  Mississippi,  who  may  wish  to  become  a  citizen,  "  a  reserva- 
tion of  six  hundred  and  forty  acres  of  land,  in  which  they  will 
have  a  life  estate,  with  a  reversion  in  fee-simple  to  their  chil- 

What  imagination  could  have  foreseen  that  in  less  than 
twenty  years  the  chiefs  of  this  Cherokee  nation  would  be 
found  piteously  pleading  to  be  allowed  to  remain  undisturbed 
on  these  very  lands?  In  the  whole  history  of  our  Govern- 
ment's dealings  with  the  Indian  tribes,  there  is  no  record  so 
black  as  the  record  of  its  perfidy  to  this  nation.  There  will 
come  a  time  in  the  remote  future  when,  to  the  student  of 
American  history,  it  will  seem  well-nigh  incredible.  From  the 
beginning  of  the  century  they  had  been  steadily  advancing  in 
civilization.  As  far  back  as  1800  they  had  begun  the  manu- 
facture of  cotton  cloth,  and  in  1820  there  was  scarcely  a  fam- 
ily in  that  part  of  the  nation  living  east  of  the  Mississippi  but 
what  understood  the  use  of  the  card  and  spinning-wheel.  Ev- 
ery family  had  its  farm  under  cultivation.  The  territory  was 


laid  off  into  districts,  with  a  council-house,  a  judge,  and  a  mar- 
shal in  each  district.  A  national  committee  and  council  were 
the  supreme  authority  in  the  nation.  Schools  were  flourishing 
in  all  the  villages.  Printing-presses  were  at  wort. 

Their  territory  was  larger  than  the  three  States  of  Massachu- 
setts, Khode  Island,  and  Connecticut  combined.  It  embraced 
the  North-western  part  of  Georgia,  the  North-east  of  Alabama, 
a  corner  of  Tennessee  and  of  North  Carolina.  They  were  en- 
thusiastic in  their  efforts  to  establish  and  perfect  their  own 
system  of  jurisprudence.  Missions  of  several  sects  were  estab- 
lished in  their  country,  and  a  large  number  of  them  had  pro- 
fessed Christianity,  and  were  li ving  exemplary  lives. 

There  is  no  instance  in  all  history  of  a  race  of  people  pass- 
ing in  so  short  a  space  of  tune  from  the  barbarous  stage  to  the 
agricultural  and  civilized.  And  it  was  such  a  community  as 
this  that  the  State  of  Georgia,  by  one  high-handed  outrage, 
made  outlaws! — passing  on  the  19th  of  December,  1829,  a 
law  "  to  annul  all  laws  and  ordinances  made  by  the  Cherokee 
nation  of  Indians ;"  declaring  "  all  laws,  ordinances,  orders,  and 
regulations  of  any  kind  whatever,  made,  passed,  or  enacted  by 
the  Cherokee  Indians,  either  in  general  council  or  in  any  other 
way  whatever,  or  by  any  authority  whatever,  null  and  void,  and 
of  no  effect,  as  if  the  same  had  never  existed ;  also,  that  no  In- 
dian, or  descendant  of  any  Indian  residing  within  the  Creek  or 
Cherokee  nations  of  Indians,  shall  be  deemed  a  competent  wit- 
ness in  any  court  of  this  State  to  which  a  white  man  may  be  a 

What  had  so  changed  the  attitude  of  Georgia  to  the  Indians 
within  her  borders  i  Simply  the  fact  that  the  Indians,  finding 
themselves  hemmed  in  on  all  sides  by  fast  thickening  white 
settlements,  had  taken  a  firm  stand  that  they  would  give  up  no 
more  land.  So  long  as  they  would  cede  and  cede,  and  grant 
and  grant  tract  after  tract,  and  had  millions  of  acres  still  left  to 
cede  and  grant,  the  selfishness  of  white  men  took  no  alarm ; 


but  once  consolidated  into  an  empire,  with  fixed  and  inaliena- 
ble boundaries,  powerful,  recognized,  and  determined,  the  Cher- 
okee nation  would  be  a  thorn  in  the  flesh  to  her  white  neigh- 
bors. The  doom  of  the  Cherokees  was  sealed  on  the  day  when 
they  declared,  once  for  all,  officially  as  a  nation,  that  they  would 
not  sell  another  foot  of  land.  This  they  did  in  an  interesting 
and  pathetic  message  to  the  United  States  Senate  in  1822. 

Georgia,  through  her  governor  and  her  delegates  to  Congress, 
had  been  persistently  demanding  to  have  the  Cherokees  com- 
pelled to  give  up  their  lands.  She  insisted  that  the  United 
States  Government  should  fulfil  a  provision,  made  in  an  old 
compact  of  1802,  to  extinguish  the  Indian  titles  within  her 
limits  as  soon  as  it  could  be  peaceably  done.  This  she  de- 
manded should  be  done  now,  either  peaceably  or  otherwise. 

"  We  cannot  but  view  the  design  of  those  letters,"  says  this 
message,  "  as  an  attempt  bordering  on  a  hostile  disposition  to- 
ward the  Cherokee  nation  to  wrest  from  them  by  arbitrary 
means  their  just  rights  and  liberties,  the  security  of  which  is 
solemnly  guaranteed  to  them  by  these  United  States.  *  *  *  We 
assert  under  the  fullest  authority  that  all  the  sentiments  ex- 
pressed in  relation  to  the  disposition  and  determination  of  the 
nation  never  to  cede  another  foot  of  land,  are  positively  the 
production  and  voice  of  the  nation.  *  *  *  There  is  not  a  spot 
out  of  the  limits  of  any  of  the  States  or  Territories  thereof, 
and  within  the  limits  of  the  United  States,  that  they  would 
ever  consent  to  inhabit ;  because  they  have  unequivocally  de- 
termined never  again  to  pursue  the  chase  as  heretofore,  or  to 
engage  in  wars,  unless  by  the  common  call  of  the  Government 
to  defend  the  common  rights  of  the  United  States.  *  *  *  The 
Cherokees  have  turned  their  attention  to  the  pursuits  of  the 
civilized  man :  agriculture,  manufactures,  and  the  mechanic  arts 
and  education  are  all  in  successful  operation  in  the  nation  at 
this  time ;  and  while  the  Cherokees  are  peacefully  endeavoring 
to  enjoy  the  blessings  of  civilization  and  Christianity  on  the 


soil  of  their  rightful  inheritance,  and  while  the  exertions  and 
labors  of  various  religious  societies  of  these  United  States  are 
successfully  engaged  in  promulgating  to  them  the  words  of 
truth  and  life  from  the  sacred  volume  of  Holy  "Writ,  and  under 
the  patronage  of  the  General  Government,  they  are  threatened 
with  removal  or  extinction.  *  *  *  We  appeal  to  the  magnanimi- 
ty of  the  American  Congress  for  justice,  and  the  protection  of 
the  rights  and  liberties  and  lives  of  the  Cherokee  people.  "We 
claim  it  from  the  United  States  by  the  strongest  obligation 
which  imposes  it  on  them — by  treaties :  and  we  expect  it  from 
them  under  that  memorable  declaration,  *  that  all  men  are  cre- 
ated equal ;  that  they  are  endowed  by  their  Creator  with  cer* 
tain  inalienable  rights ;  that  among  these  are  life,  liberty,  and 
the  pursuit  of  happiness.' " 

The  dignified  and  pathetic  remonstrances  of  the  Cherokee 
chiefs,  their  firm  reiterations  of  their  resolve  not  to  part  with 
their  lands,  were  called  by  the  angry  Georgian  governor  "  tricks 
of  vulgar  cunning,"  and  "  insults  from  the  polluted  lips  of  out- 
casts and  vagabonds ;"  and  he  is  not  afraid,  in  an  official  letter 
to  the  Secretary  of  War,  to  openly  threaten  the  President  that, 
if  he  upholds  the  Indians  in  their  rejection  of  the  overtures  for 
removal,  the  "  consequences  are  inevitable,"  and  that,  in  resist- 
ing the  occupation  of  the  Cherokee  lands  by  the  Georgians,  he 
will  be  obliged  to  "  make  war  upon,  and  shed  the  blood  of 
brothers  and  friends." 

To  these  Cherokees  Mr.  Jefferson  had  written,  at  one  time 
during  his  administration,  "  I  sincerely  wish  you  may  succeed 
in  your  laudable  endeavors  to  save  the  remnant  of  your  nation 
by  adopting  industrious  occupations,  and  a  government  of  reg- 
ular law.  In  this  you  may  always  rely  on  the  counsel  and  as- 
sistance of  the  United  States." 

In  1791  he  had  written  to  General  Knox,  defining  the  United 
States'  position  in  the  matter  of  Indian  lands :  "  Government 
should  firmly  maintain  this  ground,  that  the  Indians  have  a 



right  to  the  occupation  of  their  lands  independent  of  the  States 
within  whose  chartered  lines  they  happen  to  be;  that  until 
they  cede  them  hy  treaty,  or  other  transaction  equivalent  to 
treaty,  no  act  of  a  State  can  give  a  right  to  such  lands.  *  *  * 
The  Government  is  determined  to  exert  all  its  energy  for  the 
patronage  and  protection  of  the  rights  of  the  Indians." 

And  the  year  hefore  General  Washington  had  said  to  the 
Six  Nations:  "In  future  you  cannot  be  defrauded  of  your 
lands.  No  State  or  person  can  purchase  your  lands  unless  at 
some  public  treaty  held  under  the  authority  of  the  United 
States.  The  General  Government  will  never  consent  to  your 
being  defrauded;  but  it  will  protect  you  in  all  your  just 
rights.  *  *  *  You  possess  the  right  to  sell,  and  the  right  of  re- 
fusing to  sell  your  lands.  *  *  *  The  United  States  will  be  true 
and  faithful  to  their  engagements." 

What  could  Cherokee  men  and  women  have  thought  when, 
only  thirty  years  later,  they  found  this  United  States  Govern- 
ment upholding  the  State  of  Georgia  in  her  monstrous  preten- 
sions of  right  to  the  whole  of  their  country,  and  in  her  infa- 
mous cruelties  of  oppression  toward  them  ?  when  they  found 
this  United  States  Government  sending  its  agents  to  seduce  and 
bribe  their  chiefs  to  bargain  away  their  country ;  even  stooping 
to  leave  on  the  public  records  of  official  instructions  to  a  com- 
missioner such  phrases  as  these:  "Appeal  to  the  chiefs  and  in- 
fluential men — not  together,  but  apart,  at  their  own  houses ;" 
"  make  offers  to  them  of  extensive  reservations  in  fee-simple, 
and  other  rewards,  to  obtain  their  acquiescence ;"  "  the  more 
careful  you  are  to  secure  from  even  the  chiefs  the  official  char- 
acter you  bear,  the  better;"  "  enlarge  on  the  advantage  of  their 
condition  in  the  West:  there  the  Government  would  protect 
them."  This  the  Secretary  of  War  called  "  moving  on  them  in 
the  line  of  their  prejudices." 

In  a  report  submitted  to  the  War  Department  in  1825  by 
Thomas  L.  McKenney  is  a  glowing  description  of  the  Chcro 


country  and  nation  at  that  time:  "The  country  is  well  watered; 
abundant  springs  of  pure  water  are  found  in  every  part ;  a 
range  of  majestic  and  lofty  mountains  stretch  themselves  across 
it.  The  northern  part  is  hilly  and  mountainous ;  in  the  south- 
ern and  western  parts  there  are  extensive  and  fertile  plains, 
covered  partly  with  tall  trees,  through  which  beautiful  streams 
of  water  glide.  These  plains  furnish  immense  pasturage,  and 
numberless  herds  of  cattle  are  dispersed  over  them ;  horses  are 
plenty ;  numerous  flocks  of  sheep,  goats,  and  swine  cover  the 
valleys  and  the  hills.  On  Tennessee,  Ustanula,  and  Canasagi 
rivers  Cherokee  commerce  floats.  The  climate  is  delicious  and 
healthy ;  the  winters  are  mild ;  the  spring  clothes  the  ground 
with  the  richest  scenery ;  flowers  of  exquisite  beauty  and  varie- 
gated hues  meet  and  fascinate  the  eye  in  every  direction.  In 
the  plains  and  valleys  the  soil  is  generally  rich,  producing  In- 
dian-corn, cotton,  tobacco,  wheat,  oats,  indigo,  and  sweet  and 
Irish  potatoes.  The  natives  carry  on  considerable  trade  with 
the  adjoining  States;  some  of  them  export  cotton  in  boats 
down  the  Tennessee  to  the  Mississippi,  and  down  that  river  to 
New  Orleans.  Apple  and  peach  orchards  are  quite  common, 
and  gardens  are  cultivated,  and  much  attention  paid  to  them. 
Butter  and  cheese  are  seen  on  Cherokee  tables.  There  are 
many  public  roads  in  the  nation,  and  houses  of  entertainment 
kept  by  natives.  Numerous  and  flourishing  villages  are  seen 
in  every  section  of  the  country.  Cotton  and  woollen  cloths  are 
manufactured:  blankets  of  various  dimensions,  manufactured 
by  Cherokee  hands,  are  very  common.  Almost  every  family  in 
the  nation  grows  cotton  for  its  own  consumption.  Industry 
and  commercial  enterprise  are  extending  themselves  in  every 
part.  Nearly  all  the  merchants  in  the  nation  are  native  Chero- 
kees.  Agricultural  pursuits  engage  the  chief  attention  of  the 
people.  Different  branches  in  mechanics  are  pursued.  The 
population  is  rapidly  increasing.  *  *  *  "White  men  in  the  nation 
enjoy  all  the  immunities  and  privileges  of  the  Cherokee  people, 


except  that  they  are  not  eligible  to  public  offices,  *  ^  *  The 
Christian  religion  is  the  religion  of  the  nation.  Presbyterians, 
Methodists,  Baptists,  and  Moravians  are  the  most  numerous 
sects.  Some  of  the  most  influential  characters  are  members  of 
the  Church,  and  live  consistently  with  their  professions.  The 
whole  nation  is  penetrated  with  gratitude  for  the  aid  it  has  re- 
ceived from  the  United  States  Government,  and  from  different 
religious  societies.  Schools  are  ibcreasing  every  year;  learn- 
ing is  encouraged  and  rewarded ;  the  young  class  acquire  the 
English,  and  those  of  mature  age  the  Cherokee  system  of  learn- 
ing. *  *  *  Our  relations  with  all  nations  are  of  the  most  friend- 
ly character.  We  are  out  of  debt,  and  our  public  revenue  is  in 
a  flourishing  condition.  Besides  the  amount  arising  from  im- 
ports, perpetual  annuity  is  due  from  the  United  States  in  con- 
sideration of  lands  ceded  in  former  periods.  Our  system  of 
government,  founded  on  republican  principles  by  which  justice 
is  equally  distributed,  secures  the  respect  of  the  people.  New 
Town,  pleasantly  situated  in  the  centre  of  the  nation,  and  at 
the  junction  of  the  Canasagi  and  Gusuwati,  two  beautiful 
streams,  is  the  seat  of  government  The  legislative  power  is 
vested  in  what  is  denominated  in  native  dialect  Tsalagi  Tini- 
lawige,  consisting  of  a  national  committee  and  council  Mem- 
bers of  both  branches  are  chosen  by  and  from  the  people  for 
a  limited  period.  In  New  Town  a  printing-press  is  soon  to  be 
established ;  also  a  national  library  and  museum.  An  immense 
concourse  of  people  frequent  the  seat  of  government  when  the 
Tsalagi  Tinilawige  is  in  session,  which  takes  place  once  a 

"  The  success  which  has  attended  the  philological  researches 
of  one  in  the  nation  whose  system  of  education  has  met  with 
universal  approbation  among  the  Cherokees  certainly  entitles 
him  to  great  consideration,  and  to  rank  with  the  benefactors  of 
man.  His  name  is  Guess,  and  he  is  a  native  and  unlettered 
Cherokee ;  but,  like  Cadmus,  he  has  given  to  his  people  the 


alphabet  of  their  language.  It  is  composed  of  eighty-six  char- 
acters, by  -which  in  a  few  days  the  older  Indians,  who  had  de- 
spaired of  deriving  an  education  by  means  of  the  schools,  and 
who  are  not  included  in  the  existing  school  system,  may  read 
and  correspond."* 

Never  did  mountaineers  cling  more  desperately  to  their 
homes  than  did  the  Cherokees.  The  State  of  Georgia  put  the 
whole  nation  in  duress,  but*$till  they  chose  to  stay.  Tear  by 
year  high-handed  oppressions  increased  and  multiplied;  mili- 
tary law  reigned  everywhere ;  Cherokee  lands  were  surveyed, 
and  put  up  to  be  drawn  by  lottery ;  missionaries  were  arrested 
and  sent  to  prison  for  preaching  to  Cherokees ;  Cherokees  were 
sentenced  to  death  by  Georgia  juries,  and  hung  by  Georgia 
executioners.  Appeal  after  appeal  to  the  President  and  to 
Congress  for  protection  produced  only  reiterated  confessions 
of  the  Government's  inability  to  protect  them — reiterated  pro- 
posals to  them  to  accept  a  price  for  their  country  and  move 
away.  Nevertheless  they  clung  to  it.  A  few  hundreds  went, 
but  the  body  of  the  nation  still  protested  and  entreated.  There 
is  nothing  in  history  more  touching  than  the  cries  of  this  peo- 
ple to  the  Government  of  the  United  States  to  fulfil  its  prom- 
ises to  them.  And  their  cause  was  not  without  eloquent  ad- 
vocates. When  the  bill  for  their  removal  was  before  Congress, 
Frelinghuysen,  Spragua,  Bobbins,  Storrs,  Ellsworth,  Evans, 
Huntingtpn,  Johns,  Bates,  Crockett,  Everett,  Test — all  spoke 
warmly  against  it ;  and,  to  the  credit  of  Congress  be  it  said, 
the  bill  passed  the  Senate  by  only  one  majority. 

The  Rev,  Jeremiah  Evarts  published  a  series  of  papers  in  the 
National  Intelligencer  under  the  signature  of  William  Penn, 
in  which  he  gave  a  masterly  analysis  and  summing  up  of  the 
case,  recapitulated  the  sixteen  treaties  which  the  Government 
had  made  with  the  Cherokees,  all  guaranteeing  to  them  their 

*  See  Appendix,  Art  IX. 


lands,  and  declared  that  the  Government  bad  "  arrived  at  the 
bank  of  the  Kubicon,"  where  it  must  decide  if  it  would  or 
would  not  save  the  country  from  the  charge  of  bad  faith. 
Many  of  his  eloquent  sentences  read  in  the  light  of  the  present 
time  like  prophecies.  He  says,  "  in  a  quarter  of  a  century  the 
pressure  upon  the  Indians  will  be  much  greater  from  the 
boundless  prairies,  which  must  ultimately  be  subdued  and  in- 
habited, than  it  would  ever  have  been  from  the  borders  of  the 
present  Cherokee  country;"  and  asks,  pertinently,  "to  what 
confidence  would  such  an  engagement  be  entitled,  done  at  the 
very  moment  that  treaties  with  Indians  are  declared  not  to 
be  binding,  and  for  the  very  reason  that  existing  treaties  are 
not  strong  enough  to  bind  the  United  States."  Eemonstrances 
poured  in  upon  Congress,  petitions  and  memorials  from  relig- 
ious societies,  from  little  country  villages,  all  imploring  the 
Government  to  keep  its  faith  to  these  people. 

The  Cherokees'  own  newspaper,  The  Phcenisc,  was  filled  at 
this  time  with  the  records  of  the  nation's  suffering  and  despair. 

"  The  State  of  Georgia  has  taken  a  strong1  stand  against  us, 
and  the  United  States  must  either  defend  us  and  our  rights 
or  leave  us  to  our  foe.  In  the  latter  case  she  will  violate  her 
promise  of  protection,  and  we  cannot  in  future  depend  upon 
any  guarantee  to  us,  either  here  or  beyond  the  Mississippi. 

"  If  the  United  States  shall  withdraw  their  solemn  pledges 
of  protection,  utterly  disregard  their  plighted  faith,  deprive  us 
of  the  right  of  self-government,  and  wrest  from  us  our  land, 
then,  in  the  deep  anguish  of  our  misfortunes,  we  may  justly 
say  there  is  no  place  of  security  for  us,  no  confidence  left  that 
the  United  States  will  be  more  just  and  faithful  toward  us 
in  the  barren  prairies  of  the  West  than  when  we  occupied  the 
soil  inherited  from  the  Great  Author  of  our  existence." 

As  a  last  resort  the  Cherokees  carried  their  case  before  the 
Supreme  Court,  and  implored  that  body  to  restrain  the  State 
of  Georgia  from  her  unjust  interference  with  their  rights. 


The  reports  of  the  case  of  the  Cherokee  Nation  vs.  the  State  of 
Georgia  fill  a  volume  by  themselves,  and  are  of  vital  importance 
to  the  history  of  Indian  affairs.  The  majority  of  the  judges 
decided  that  an  Indian  trihe  could  not  be  considered  as  a  for- 
eign nation,  and  therefore  could  not  bring  the  suit.  Judge 
Thompson  and  Judge  Story  dissented  from  this  opinion,  and 
held  that  the  Cherokee  tribe  did  constitute  a  foreign  nation,  and 
that  the  State  of  Georgia  ought  to  be  enjoined  from  execution 
of  its  unjust  laws.  The  opinion  of  Chancellor  Kent  coincided 
with  that  of  Judges  Thompson  and  Story.  Chancellor  Kent 
gave  it  as  his  opinion  that  the  cases  in  which  the  Supreme 
Court  had. jurisdiction  would  "reach  and  embrace  every  contro- 
versy that  can  arise  between  the  Cherokees  and  the  State  of 
Georgia  or  its  officers  under  the  execution  of  the  act  of  Georgia." 

But  all  this  did  not  help  the  Cherokees;  neither  did  the 
fact  of  the  manifest  sympathy  of  the  whole  court  with  their 
wrongs.  The  technical  legal  decision  had  been  rendered 
against  them,  and  this  delivered  them  over  to  the  tender 
mercies  of  Georgia :  no  power  in  the  land  could  help  them. 
Fierce  factions  now  began  to  be  formed  in  the  nation,  one  for 
and  one  against  the  surrender  of  their  lands.  Many  were  ready 
still  to  remain  and  suffer  till  death  rather  than  give  them  up ; 
but  wiser  counsels  prevailed,  and  in  the  last  days  of  the  year 
1835  a  treaty  was  concluded  with  the  United  States  by  twenty 
of  the  Cherokee  chiefs  and  headmen,  who  thereby,  in  behalf 
of  their  nation,  relinquished  all  the  lands  claimed  or  possessed 
by  them  east  of  the  Mississippi  River. 

The  preamble  of  this  treaty  is  full  of  pathos:  "Whereas, 
The  Cherokees  are  anxious  to  make  some  arrangement  with  the 
Government  of  the  United  States  whereby  the  difficulties  they 
have  experienced  by  a  residence  within  the  settled  parts  of  the 
United  States  under  the  jurisdiction  and  laws  of  the  State  gov- 
ernments may  be  terminated  and  adjusted ;  and  with  a  view 
to  reuniting  their  people  in  one  body,  and  securing  a  perms* 


nent  home  for  themselves  and  their  posterity  in  the  country 
selected  by  their  forefathers  without  the  territorial  limits  of 
the  State  sovereignties,  and  where  they  can  establish  and  enjoy 
a  government  of  their  choice,  and  perpetuate  such  a  state  of 
society  as  may  be  most  consonant  with  their  views,  habits,  and 
condition,  and  as  may  tend  to  their  individual  comfort  and 
their  advancement  in  civilization." 

By  this  treaty  the  Cherokees  gave  up  a  country  "  larger  than 
the  three  States  of  Massachusetts,  Rhode  Island,  and  Connec- 
ticut combined,  and  received  therefor  five  millions  of  dollars 
and  seven  millions  of  acres  of  land  west  of  the  Mississippi." 
This  the  "United  States  "  guaranteed,  and  secured  to  be  convey- 
ed in  patent,"  and  defined  it  by  exact  boundaries ;  and,  "  in  ad- 
dition to  the  seven  millions  of  acres  of  land  thus  provided  for 
and  bounded,"  the  United  States  did  "further  guarantee  to 
the  Cherokee  nation  a  perpetual  outlet  west,  and  a  free  and  un- 
molested use  of  all  the  country  west  of  the  western  boundary 
of  said  seven  millions  of  acres,  as  far  west  as  the  sovereignty 
of  the  United  States  and  their  rights  of  soil  extend." 

The  fifth  Article  of  this  treaty  is,  "The  United  States  here- 
by covenant  and  agree  that  the  lands  ceded  to  the  Cherokee 
nation  in  the  foregoing  article  shall  in  no  future  time,  without 
their  consent,  be  included  within  the  territorial  limits  or  juris- 
diction of  any  State  or  Territory." 

In  the  sixth  Article  is  this  promise:  "The  United  States 
agree  to  protect  the  Cherokee  nation  from  domestic  strife  and 
foreign  enemies,  and  against  intestine  wars  between  the  sev- 
eral tribes." 

Even  after  this  treaty  was  made  a  great  part  of  the  nation 
refused  to  sanction  it,  saying  that  it  did  not  represent  their 
wish ;  they  would  never  carry  it  out ;  hundreds  refused  to  re- 
ceive any  longer  either  money  or  supplies  from  the  United 
States  agents,  lest  they  should  be  considered  to  have  thereby 
committed  themselves  to  the  treaty. 


In  1837  General  Wool  wrote  from  the  Cherokee  country 
that  the  people  "uniformly  declare  that  they  never  made  the 
treaty  in  question.  *  *  *  So  determined  are  they  in  their  oppo- 
sition that  not  one  of  all  those  who  were  present,  and  voted  in 
the  council  held  but  a  day  or  two  since  at  this  place,  however 
poor  or  destitute,  would  receive  either  rations  or  clothing  from 
the  United  States,  lest  they  might  compromise  themselves  in 
regard  to  the  treaty.  These  same  people,  as  well  as  those  in 
the  mountains  of  North  Carolina,  during  the  summer  past  pre- 
ferred living  on  the  roots  and  sap  of  trees  rather  than  receive 
provisions  from  the  United  States.  Thousands,  I  have  been 
informed,  had  no  other  food  for  weeks." 

For  two  years — to  the  very  last  moment  allowed  them  by 
the  treaty — they  clung  to  their  lands,  and  at  last  were  removed 
only _by. military Jfo£ce._jTn  May,  1838,  General 'Stfott-ivas-or^ 
dered  to  go  with  a  sufficient  military  force  to  compel  the  re- 
moval.  His  proclamation  "to  the  Cherokee  people  remaining  in 
North  Carolina,  Georgia,  Tennessee,  and  Alabama"  opens  thus : 

"  CHEROKEES, — The  President  of  the  United  States  has  sent 
me  with  a  powerful  army  to  cause  you,  in  obedience  to  the 
treaty  of  1835,  to  join  that  part  of  your  people  who  are  al- 
ready established  on  the  other  side  of  the  Mississippi  Unhap- 
pily the  two  years  which  were  allowed  for  the  purpose  you 
have  suffered  to  pass  away  without  following,  and  without  mak- 
ing any  preparation  to  follow ;  and  now,  or  by  the  time  that 
this  solemn  address  shall  reach  your  distant ,  settlements,  the 
emigration  must  be  commenced  in  haste,  but  I  hope  without 
disorder.  I  have  no  power,  by  granting  a  further  delay,  to 
correct  the  error  that  you  have  committed.  The  full-moon  of 
May  is  already  on  the  wane,  and  before  another  shall  have 
passed  away  every  Cherokee  man,  woman,  and  child  in  those 
States  -must  be  in  motion  to  join  their  brethren  in  the  West" 

The  tone  of  this  proclamation,  at  once  firm  and  kindly,  could 
not  fail  to  profoundly  impress  the  unfortunate  people  to  whom 



nent  home  for  themselves  and  their  posterity  in  the  country 
selected  by  their  forefathers  without  the  territorial  limits  of 
the  State  sovereignties,  and  where  they  can  establish  and  enjoy 
a  government  of  their  choice,  and  perpetuate  such  a  state  of 
society  as  may  be  most  consonant  with  their  views,  habits,  and 
condition,  and  as  may  tend  to  their  individual  comfort  and 
their  advancement  in  civilization." 

By  this  treaty  the  Cherokees  gave  up  a  country  "  larger  than 
the  three  States  of  Massachusetts,  Rhode  Island,  and  Connec- 
ticut combined,  and  received  therefor  five  millions  of  dollars 
and  seven  millions  of  acres  of  land  west  of  the  Mississippi." 
This  the  United  States  "  guaranteed,  and  secured  to  be  convey- 
ed in  patent,"  and  defined  it  by  exact  boundaries ;  and,  "  in  ad- 
dition to  the  seven  millions  of  acres  of  land  thus  provided  for 
and  bounded,"  the  United  States  did  "further  guarantee  to 
the  Cherokee  nation  a  perpetual  outlet  west,  and  a  free  and  un- 
molested use  of  all  the  country  west  of  the  western  boundary 
of  said  seven  millions  of  acres,  as  far  west  as  the  sovereignty 
of  the  United  States  and  their  rights  of  soil  extend." 

The  fifth  Article  of  this  treaty  is,  "The  United  States  here- 
by covenant  and  agree  that  the  lands  ceded  to  the  Cherokee 
nation  in  the  foregoing  article  shall  in  no  future  time,  without 
their  consent,  be  included  within  the  territorial  limits  or  juris- 
diction of  any  State  or  Territory." 

In  the  sixth  Article  is  this  promise:  "The  United  States 
agree  to  protect  the  Cherokee  nation  from  domestic  strife  and 
foreign  enemies,  and  against  intestine  wars  between  the  sev- 
eral tribes." 

Even  after  this  treaty  was  made  a  great  part  of  the  nation 
refused  to  sanction  it,  saying  that  it  did  not  represent  their 
wish ;  they  would  never  carry  it  out ;  hundreds  refused  to  re- 
ceive any  longer  either  money  or  supplies  from  the  United 
States  agents,  lest  they  should  be  considered  to  have  thereby 
committed  themselves  to  the  treaty. 


In  183?  General  Wool  wrote  from  the  Cherokee  country 
fchat  the  people  "  uniformly  declare  that  they  never  made  the 
treaty  in  question.  *  *  *  So  determined  are  they  in  their  oppo- 
sition that  not  one  of  all  those  who  were  present,  and  voted  in 
the  council  held  but  a  day  or  two  since  at  this  place,  however 
poor  or  destitute,  would  receive  either  rations  or  clothing  from 
the  United  States,  lest  they  might  compromise  themselves  in 
regard  to  the  treaty.  These  same  people,  as  well  as  those  in 
the  mountains  of  North  Carolina,  during  the  summer  past  pre- 
ferred living  on  the  roots  and  sap  of  trees  rather  than  receive 
provisions  from  the  United  States.  Thousands,  I  have  been 
informed,  had  no  other  food  for  weeks." 

For  two  years — to  the  very  last  moment  allowed  them  by 
the  treaty — they  clung  to  their  lands,  and  at  last  were  removed 
only  by  militarjjforce._j[n  May,  1838,  Grenefal^Scott"was-or^ 
dered  to  go  with  a  sufficient  military  force  to  compel  the  re- 
moval. His  proclamation  "to  the  Cherokee  people  remaining  in 
North  Carolina,  Georgia,  Tennessee,  and  Alabama"  opens  thus: 

"  CHEROKEES, — The  President  of  the  United  States  has  sent 
me  with  a  powerful  army  to  cause  you,  in  obedience  to  the 
treaty  of  1835,  to  join  that  part  of  your  people  who  are  al- 
ready established  on  the  other  side  of  the  Mississippi.  Unhap- 
pily the  two  years  which  were  allowed  for  the  purpose  you 
have  suffered  to  pass  away  without  following,  and  without  mak- 
ing any  preparation  to  follow ;  and  now,  or  by  the  time  that 
this  solemn  address  shall  reach  your  distant .  settlements,  the 
emigration  must  be  commenced  in  haste,  but  I  hope  without 
disorder.  I  have  no  power,  by  granting  a  further  delay,  to 
correct  the  error  that  you  have  committed.  The  full-moon  of 
May  is  already  on  the  wane,  and  before  another  shall  have 
passed  away  every  Cherokee  man,  woman,  and  child  in  those 
States  -must  be  in  motion  to  join  their  brethren  in  the  West" 

The  tone  of  this  proclamation,  at  once  firm  and  kindly,  could 
not  fail  to  profoundly  impress  the  unfortunate  people  to  whom 



it  was  addressed  "  My  troops,"  said  the  humane  and  sympa< 
thizing  general,  "  already  occupy  many  positions  in  the  country 
that  you  are  to  abandon,  and  thousands  and  thousands  are  ap- 
proaching from  every  quarter,  to  render  resistance  and  escape 
alike  hopeless.  All  those  troops,  regular  and  militia,  are  your 
friends.  Eeceive  them  and  confide  in  them  as  such;  obey 
them  when  they  tell  you  that  you  can  remain  no  longer  in  this 
country.  Soldiers  are  as  kind-hearted  as  brave,  and  the  desire 
of  every  one  of  us  is  to  execute  our  painful  duty  in  mercy.  *  *  * 

"Chiefs,  headmen,  and  warriors, will  you  then,  by  resistance, 
compel  us  to  resort  to  arms?  God  forbid.  Or  will  you  by 
flight  seek  to  hide  yourselves  in  mountains  and  forests,  and 
thus  oblige  us  to  hunt  you  down?  Eemember  that  in  pur- 
suit it  may  be  impossible  to  avoid  conflicts.  The  blood  of  the 
white  man  or  the  blood  of  the  red  man  may  be  spilt;  and  if 
spilt,  however  accidentally,  it  may  be  impossible  for  the  dis- 
creet and  humane  among  you  or  among  us  to  prevent  a  general 
war  and  carnage.  Think  of  this,  my  Cherokee  brethren  1  I 
am  an  old  warrior,  and  have  been  present  at  many  a  scene  of 
slaughter ;  but  spare  me,  I  beseech  you,  the  horror  of  witness- 
ing the  destruction  of  the  Cherokees.  Do  not  even  wait  for 
the  close  approach  of  the  troops,  but  make  such  preparations 
for  emigration  as  you  can,  and  hasten  to  this  place,  to  Ross's 
Landing,  or  to  G-uinter's  Landing,  where  you  will  be  received 
in  kindness  by  officers  selected  for  the  purpose.  *  *  *  This  is 
the  address  of  a  warrior  to  warriors.  May  its  entreaties  be 
kindly  received,  and  may  the  God  of  both  prosper  the  Ameri- 
cans and  Cherokees,  and  preserve  them  long  in  peace  and 
friendship  with  each  other." 

The  reply  of  the  council  of  the  Cherokee  nation  to  this  proc- 
lamation is  worthy  to  be  put  on  record.  They  make  no  fur- 
ther protest  against  going;  they  simply  ask  the  privilege  of 
undertaking  the  whole  charge  of  the  removal  themselves.  They 
say :  "  The  present  condition  of  the  Cherokee  people  is  such 


that  all  dispute  as  to  the  time  of  emigration  is  set  at  rest.  Be- 
ing already  severed  from  their  homes  and  their  property,  their 
persons  being  under  the  absolute  control  of  the  commanding 
general,  and  being  altogether  dependent  on  the  benevolence 
and  humanity  of  that  high  officer  for  the  suspension  of  their 
transportation  to  the  West  at  a  season  and  under  circumstances 
in  which  sickness  and  death  were  to  be  apprehended  to  an 
alarming  extent,  all  inducements  to  prolong  their  stay  in  this 
country  are  taken  away.  And  however  strong  their  attachment 
to  the  homes  of  their  fathers  may  be,  their  interests  and  their 
wishes  are  now  to  depart  as  early  as  may  be  consistent  with 
their  safety." 

The  council  therefore  submitted  to  General  Scott  several 
propositions:  1st.  "That  the  Cherokee  nation  will  undertake 
the  whole  business  of  removing  their  people  to  the  west  of  the 
river  Mississippi."  Their  estimates  of  cost,  and  arrangement 
as  to  time,  intervals,  etc.,  were  wise  and  reasonable.  To  their 
estimate  of  $65,880  as  the  cost  for  every  thousand  persons 
transported  General  Scott  objected,  thinking  it  high.  He  said 
that  he  was  "  confident "  that  it  would  be  found  that  out  of 
every  thousand  there  would  be  "at  least  five  hundred  strong 
men,  women,  boys,  and  girls  not  only  capable  of  marching 
twelve  or  fifteen  miles  a  day,  but  to  whom  the  exercise  would 
be  beneficial;  and  another  hundred  able  to  go  on  foot  half 
that  distance  daily."  He  also  objected  to  the  estimate  of  the 
ration  at  sixteen  cents  as  too  high. 

The  council  replied  that  they  believed  the  estimate  reason- 
able, "  having  the  comfortable  removal  of  our  people  solely  in 
view,  and  endeavoring  to  be  governed,  as  far  as  that  object  will 
allow,  by  the  rates  of  expenditure  fixed  by  the  officers  of  the 
Government.  After  the  necessary  bedding,  cooking- utensils, 
and  other  indispensable  articles  of  twenty  persons — say,  four  or 
five  families — are  placed  in  a  wagon,  with  subsistence  for  at  least 
two  days,  the  weight  already  will  be  enough  to  exclude,  in  our 


opinion,  more  than  a  very  few  persons  being  hauled.  The 
great  distance  to  be  travelled,  liability  to  sickness  on  the  way 
of  grown  persons,  and  the  desire  of  performing  the  trip  in  as 
short  a  time  as  possible,  induce  us  still  to  think  our  estimate  of 
that  item  not  extravagant.  *  *  *  Whatever  may  be  necessary  in 
the  emigration  of  our  people  to  their  comfort  on  the  way,  and 
as  conducive  to  their  health,  we  desire  to  be  afforded  them  ;  at 
the  same  time  it  is  our  anxious  wish,  in  the  management  of 
this  business,  to  be  free  at  all  times  from  the  imputation  of  ex- 
travagance." They  added  that  the  item  of  soap  had  been  for- 
gotten in  their  first  estimate,  and  must  now  be  included,  at  the 
rate  of  three  pounds  to  every  hundred  pounds  of  rations. 

General  Scott  replied,  "  as  the  Cherokee  people  are  exclusive- 
ly interested  in  the  cost  as  well  as  the  comfort  of  the  removal," 
he  did  not  feel  himself  at  liberty  to  withhold  his  sanction  from 
these  estimates.  In  the  report  of  the  Indian  Commissioner, 
also,  it  is  stated  that  "  the  cost  of  removal,  according  to  the 
Indian  estimate,  is  high ;"  but  the  commissioner  adds,  "  as 
hheir  own  fund  pays  it,  and  it  was  insisted  on  by  their  own 
confidential  agents,  it  was  thought  it  could  not  be  rejected." 

Noble  liberality  1  This  nation  of  eighteen  thousand  indus- 
trious, self-supporting  people,  compelled  at  the  point  of  the 
.bayonet  to  leave  their  country  and  seek  new  homes  in  a  wilder- 
ness, are  to  be  permitted,  as  a  favor,  to  spend  on  their  jour- 
ney to  this  wilderness  as  much  of  their  own  money  as  they 
think  necessary,  and  have  all  the  soap  they  want. 

The  record  which  the  United  States  Government  has  left  in 
oflBcial  papers  of  its  self-congratulations  in  the  matter  of  this 
Cherokee  removal  has  an  element  in  it  of  the  ludicrous,  spite 
of  the  tragedy  and  shame. 

Says  the  Secretary  of  War :  "  The  generous  and  enlightened 
policy  evinced  in  the  measures  adopted  by  Congress  toward 
that  people  during  the  last  session  was  ably  and  judiciously 
carried  into  effect  by  the  general  appointed  to  conduct  thcif 


removal.  The  reluctance  of  the  Indians  to  relinquish  the  land 
of  their  birth  in  the  East,  and  remove  to  their  new  homes  in 
the  West,  was  entirely  overcome  by  the  judicious  conduct  of 
that  officer,  and  they  departed  with  alacrity  under  the  guidance 
of  their  own  chiefs.  The  arrangements  for  this  purpose  made 
by  General  Scott,  in  compliance  with  his  previous  instructions, 
although  somewhat  costly  to  the  Indians  themselves,  met  the 
entire  approbation  of  the  Department,  as  it  was  deemed  of  the 
last  importance  that  the  Cherokees  should  remove  to  the  West 
voluntarily,  and  that  upon  their  arrival  at  the  place  of  their 
ultimate  destination  they  should  recur  to  the  manner  in  which 
they  had  been  treated  with  kind  and  grateful  feelings.  Ha- 
manity  no  less  than  good  policy  dictated  this  course  toward 
these  children  of  the  forest ;  and  in  carrying  out  in  this  instance 
with  an  unwavering  hand  the  measures  resolved  upon  by  the 
Government,  in  the  hope  of  preserving  the  Indians  and  of  main- 
taining the  peace  and  tranquillity  of  the  whites,  it  will  always 
be  gratifying  to  reflect  that  this  has  been  effected  not  only 
without  violence,  but  with  every  proper  regard  for  the  feelings 
and  interests  of  that  people." 

The  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  says,  in  his  report:  "The 
case  of  the  Cherokees  is  a  striking  example  of  the  liberality  of 
the  Government  in  all  its  branches.  *  *  *  A  retrospect  of  the 
last  eight  months  in  reference  to  this  numerous  and  more  than 
ordinarily  enlightened  tribe  cannot  fail  to  be  refreshing  to  well- 
constituted  minds." 

A  further  appropriation  had  been  asked  by  the  Cherokee 
thiefs  to  meet  the  expense  of  their  removal  (they  not  thinking 
$5,000,000  a  very  munificent  payment  for  a  country  as  large 
as  all  Massachusetts,  Ehode  Island,  and  Connecticut  together), 
and  Congress  had  passed  a  law  giving  them  $1147  67  more, 
and  the  commissioner  says  of  this :  "  When  it  is  considered 
that  by  the  treaty  of  December,  1835,  the  sum  of  $5,000,000 
was  stipulated  to  be  paid  them  as  the  full  value  of  their  lands, 


after  that  amount  was  declared  by  the  Senate  of  the  United 
States  to  be  an  ample  consideration  for  them,  the  spirit  of  this 
•whole  proceeding  cannot  be  too  much  admired.  By  some  the 
measure  may  be  regarded  as  just ;  by  others  generous :  it  per- 
haps partook  of  both  attributes.  If  it  went  farther  than  na- 
ked  justice  could  have  demanded,  it  did  not  stop  short  of  what 
liberality  approved.  *  *  *  If  our  acts  have  been  generous,  they 
have  not  been  less  wise  and  politic.  A  large  mass  of  men  have 
been  conciliated;  the  hazard  of  an  effusion  of  human  blood 
has  been  put  by ;  good  feeling  has  been  preserved,  and  we  have 
quietly  and  gently  transported  eighteen  thousand  friends  to  the 
west  bank  of  the  Mississippi." 

To  dwell  on  the  picture  of  this  removal  is  needless.  The 
fact  by  itself  is  more  eloquent  than  pages  of  detail  and  de- 
scription could  make  it.  No  imagination  so  dull,  no  heart  so 
hard  as  not  to  see  and  to  feel,  at  the  bare  mention  of  such  an 
emigration,  what  horrors  and  what  anguish  it  must  have  in- 
volved. "Eighteen  thousand  friends!"  Only  a  great  mag- 
nanimity of  nature,  strengthened  by  true  Christian  principle, 
could  have  prevented  them  from  being  changed  into  eighteen 
thousand  bitter  enemies. 

For  some  years  after  this  removal  fierce  dissensions  rent  the 
Cherokee  nation.  The  party  who  held  that  the  treaty  of  1835 
had  been  unfair,  and  that  the  nation  still  had  an  unextinguish- 
ed  right  to  its  old  country  at  the  East,  felt,  as  was  natural,  a 
bitter  hatred  toward  the  party  which,  they  claimed,  had  wrong- 
fully signed  away  the  nation's  lands.  Several  of  the  signers  of 
the  treaty,  influential  men  of  the  nation,  were  murdered.  Par- 
ty-spirit ran  to  such  a  height  that  the  United  States  Govern- 
ment was  compelled  to  interfere ;  and  in  1846,  after  long  nego- 
tiations and  dissensions,  a  new  treaty  was  made,  by  the  terms 
and  concessions  of  which  the  anti-treaty  party  were  appeased, 
a  general  amnesty  provided  for,  and  comparative  harmony  re* 
stored  to  the  nation. 


The  progress  of  this  people  in  the  ten  years  following  this 
removal  is  almost  past  helief.  In  1851  they  had  twenty-two 
primary  schools,  and  had  just  built  two  large  houses  for  a 
male  and  female  seminary,  in  which  the  higher  branches  of 
education  were  to  he  taught.  They  had  a  temperance  society 
with  three  thousand  members,  and  an  auxiliary  society  in  each 
of  the  eight  districts  into  which  the  country  was  divided. 
They  had  a  Bible  Society  and  twelve  churches ;  a  weekly  news- 
paper, partly  in  English,  partly  in  Cherokee ;  eight  district 
courts,  two  circuit  courts,  and  a  supreme  court.  Legislative 
business  was  transacted  as  before  by  the  national  council  and 
committee,  elected  for  four  years.  Nearly  one  thousand  boys 
and  girls  were  in  the  public  schools. 

In  1860  the  agitation  on  the  subject  of  slavery  began  to 
be  felt,  a  strong  antislavery  party  being  •  organized  in  the  na- 
tion. There  were  stormy  scenes  also  in  that  part  of  the  coun- 
try nearest  the  Kansas  line.  For  several  years  white  settlers 
had  persisted  in  taking  up  farms  there,  and  the  Cherokees  had 
in  vain  implored  the  Government  to  drive  them  away.  The 
officer  at  last  sent  to  enforce  the  Cherokees'  rights  and  dislodge 
the  squatters  was  obliged  to  burn  their  cabins  over  their  heads 
before  they  would  stir,  so  persuaded  were  they  of  the  superior 
right  of  the  white  man  over  the  Indian.  "  The  only  reason 
the  settlers  gave  for  not  heeding  the  notices  was  that  they  had 
been  often  notified  before  to  quit  the  reservation ;  and,  no  steps 
having  been  taken  to  enforce  obedience,  they  supposed  they 
would  be  allowed  to  remain  with  like  security  in  this  instance." 

"  It  is  surprising,"  says  the  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs, 
"to  see  the  growing  disposition  on  the  part  of  our  citizens  to 
•wholly  disregard  our  treaty  obligations  with  Indian  tribes  with- 
in our  borders ;  and  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  in  future  their  rights 
will  be  held  more  sacred,  or  that  the  Government  will  in  every 
instance  promptly  see  that  they  are  observed  and  respected." 

In  the  first  year  of  the  Civil  War  a  large  number  of  the 


Cherokees  took  up  arms  on  the  rebel  side.  That  this  was  not 
from  any  love  or  liking  for  the  Southern  cause,  it  would  seem, 
must  be  evident  to  any  one  who  believed  that  they  were 
possessed  of  memories.  The  opportunity  of  fighting  against 
Georgians  could  not  but  have  been  welcome  to  the  soul  of  a 
Cherokee,  even  if  he  bought  it  at  the  price  of  fighting  on  the 
side  of  the  government  which  had  been  so  perfidious  to  his  na- 
tion. Their  defection  was  no  doubt  largely  due  to  terror.  The 
forts  in  their  vicinity  were  surrendered  to  the  rebels ;  all  United 
States  troops  were  withdrawn  from  that  part  of  the  country. 
They  had  no  prospect  of  protection  from  the  Government,  and, 
as  if  to  leave  them  without  one  incentive  to  loyalty,  the  Gov- 
ernment suspended  the  payment  of  their  annuities. 

The  Confederate  Government  stepped  in,  artfully  promising 
to  pay  what  the  Northern  Government  refused.  It  would  have 
taken  a  rare  loyalty,  indeed,  to  have  stood  unmoved  in  such, 
circumstances  as  these ;  yet  thousands  of  the  Indians  in  Indian 
Territory  did  remain  loyal,  and  fled  for  their  lives  to  avoid  be- 
ing pressed  into  the  rebel  service ;  almost  half  of  the  Creek 
nation,  many  Seminoles,  Chickasaws,  Quapaws,  Cherokees,  and 
half  a  dozen  others — over  six  thousand  in  all — fled  to  Kansas, 
where  their  sufferings  in  the  winter  of  1862  were  heart-rending. 

That  the  Cherokees  did  not  lightly  abandon  their  allegiance 
is  on  record  in  the  official  history  of  the  Department  of  the 
Interior.  The  Report  of  the  Indian  Bureau  for  1863  says: 
"The  Cherokees,  prior  to  the  Rebellion,  were  the  most  numer- 
ous, intelligent,  wealthy,  and  influential  tribe  of  this  superin- 
tendency  (the  southern).  For  many  months  they  steadily  re- 
sisted the  efforts  made  by  the  rebels  to  induce  them  to  abandon 
their  allegiance  to  the  Federal  Government ;  but  being  wholly 
unprotected,  and  without  the  means  of  resistance,  they  were 
finally  compelled  to  enter  into  treaty  stipulations  with  the  rebel 
authorities.  This  connection  was,  however,  of  short  duration, 
for  upon  the  first  appearance  of  United  States  forces  in  their 


country  an  entire  regiment  of  Indian  troops,  raised  ostensibly 
for  service  in  the  rebel  army,  deserted  and  came  over  to  us, 
and  have  ever  since  been  under  our  command,  and  upon  all  oc- 
casions have  proved  themselves  faithful  and  efficient  soldiers." 
In  the  course  of  the  next  year,  however,  many  more  joined  the 
rebels:  it  was  estimated  that  between  six  and  seven  thousand 
of  the  wealthier  portion  of  the  nation  co-operated  in  one  way 
or  another  with  the  rebels.  The  result  was  that  at  the  end  of 
the  war  the  Cherokee  country  was  ruined. 

"  In  the  Cherokee  country,"  says  the  Report  of  the  Indian 
Bureau  for  1865,  "where  the  contending  armies  have  moved 
to  and  fro;  where  their  foraging  parties  have  gone  at  will, 
sparing  neither  friend  nor  foe;  where  the  disloyal  Cherokees 
in  the  service  of  the  rebel  government  were  determined  that 
no  trace  of  the  homesteads  of  their  loyal  brethren  should  re- 
main for  their  return ;  and  where  the  swindling  cattle-thieves 
have  made  their  ill-gotten  gains  for  two  years  past,  the  scene 
is  one  of  utter  desolation." 

The  party  feeling  between  the  loyal  and  disloyal  Cherokees 
ran  as  high  as  it  did  between  the  loyal  and  disloyal  whites,  and 
it  looked  for  a  time  as  if  it  would  be  as  impossible  to  make 
the  two  opposing  parties  in  the  Cherokee  nation  agree  to  live 
peaceably  side  by  side  with  each  other,  as  it  would  to  make  dis- 
charged soldiers  from  Georgia  and  from  Maine  settle  down  in 
one  village  together.  But  after  long  and  troublesome  negotia- 
tions a  treaty  was  concluded  in  1866,  by  which  all  the  neces- 
sary points  seemed  to  be  established  of  a  general  amnesty  and 

That  the  Indians  were  at  a  great  disadvantage  in  the  making 
of  these  new  treaties  it  is  unnecessary  to  state.  The  peculiarity 
of  the  Government's  view  of  their  situation  and  rights  is  most 
naively  stated  in  one  of  the  reports  for  1862.  Alluding  to  the 
necessity  of  making  at  no  very  distant  time  new  treaties  with 
all  these  Southern  tribes,  one  of  the  Indian  superintendents 

290  A  O&NTUltY   OF  DISHONOR. 

says :  "  While  the  rebelling  of  a  large  portion  of  most  of  these 
tribes  abrogates  treaty  obligations,  and  places  them  at  our 
mercy,  the  very  important  fact  should  not  be  forgotten  that 
the  Government  first  wholly  failed  to  keep  its  treaty  stipula- 
tions with  those  people,  and  in  protecting  them,  by  withdraw- 
ing all  the  troops  from  the  forts  in  Indian  Territory,  and  leav- 
ing them  at  the  mercy  of  the  rebels.  It  is  a  \vell-kno\vn  fact 
that  self-preservation  in  many  instances  compelled  them  to 
make  the  best  terms  they  could  with  the  rebels." 

Nevertheless  they  are  "  at  our  mercy,"  because  their  making 
the  "best  terms  they  could  with  the  rebels  abrogates  treaty 
obligations."  The  trite  old  proverb  about  the  poorness  of  rules 
that  do  not  work  both  ways  seems  to  be  applicable  here. 

With  a  recuperative  power  far  in  advance  of  that  shown  by 
any  of  the  small  white  communities  at  the  South,  the  Chero- 
kees  at  once  addressed  themselves  to  rebuilding  their  homes 
and  reconstructing  their  national  life.  In  one  year  they  estab- 
lished fifteen  new  schools,  set  all  their  old  industries  going,  and 
in  1869  held  a  large  agricultural  fair,  which  gave  a  creditable 
exhibition  of  stock  and  farm  produce.  Thus  a  second  time 
they  recovered  themselves,  after  what  would  seem  to  be  well- 
nigh  their  destruction  as  a  people.  But  the  Indian's  fate  of 
perpetual  insecurity,  alarm,  and  unrest  does  not  abandon  them,. 
In  1870  they  are  said  to  be  "extremely  uneasy  about  the  se- 
curity of  their  possession  of  the  lands  they  occupy."  "When 
asked  why  their  high-schools  are  not  re-established,  reforms  in- 
troduced into  the  administration  of  justice,  desirable  improve- 
ments undertaken,  the  reply  inevitably  comes,  "  We  expect  to 
have  our  lands  taken  away :  what  is  the  use  of  all  that  when 
our  doom  as  a  nation  is  sealed  ?" 

"  Distrust  is  firmly  seated  in  their  minds.  National  apathy 
depresses  them,  and  until  they  realize  a  feeling  of  assurance 
that  their  title  to  their  lands  will  be  respected,  and  that  treaties 
are  an  inviolable  law  for  all  parties,  the  Cherokees  will  not 


make  the  efforts  for  national  progress  of  which  they  are  ca- 

When  their  delegates  went  to  Washington,  in  1866,  to  mate 
the  new  treaty,  they  were  alarmed  by  the  position  taken  by 
the  Government  that  the  nation,  as  a  nation,  had  forfeited  its 
rights.  They  were  given  to  understand  that  "  public  opinion 
held  them  responsible  for  complicity  in  the  Rebellion ;  and,  al- 
though they  could  point  to  the  fact  that  the  only  countenance 
the  rebels  received  came  from  less  than  one-third  of  the  popu- 
lation, and  cite  the  services  of  two  Cherokee  regiments  in  the 
Union  cause,  it  was  urged  home  to  them  that,  before  being  re- 
habilitated in  their  former  rights  by  a  new  treaty,  they  were 
not  in  a  position  to  refuse  any  conditions  imposed.  Such  lan- 
guage from  persons  they  believed  to  possess  the  power  of  in- 
juring their  people  intimidated  the  Cherokee  delegates.  They 
sold  a  large  tract  in  South-eastern  Kansas  at  a  dollar  an  acre 
to  an  association  of  speculators,  and  it  went  into  the  possession 
of  a  railroad  company.  They  also  acceded,  against  the  wishes 
of  the  Cherokee  people,  to  a  provision  in  the  treaty  granting 
right  of  way  through  the  country  for  two  railroads.  This  ex- 
cited great  uneasiness  among  the  Indians." 

And  well  it  might.  The  events  of  the  next  few  years  am- 
ply justified  this  uneasiness.  The  rapacity  of  railroad  corpora- 
tions is  as  insatiable  as  their  methods  are  unscrupulous.  The 
phrase  "  extinguishing  Indian  titles "  has  become,  as  it  were, 
a  mere  technical  term  in  the  transfer  of  lands.  The  ex- 
pression is  so  common  that  it  has  probably  been  one  of  the 
agencies  in  fixing  in  the  minds  of  the  people  the  prevalent  im- 
pression that  extinction  is  the  ultimate  and  inevitable  fate  of 
the  Indian ;  and  this  being  the  case,  methods  and  times  are 
not,  after  all,  of  so  much  consequence ;  they  are  merely  fore- 
ordained conditions  of  the  great  foreordained  progression  of 
events.  This  is  the  only  explanation  of  the  unconscious  inhu- 
manity of  many  good  men's  modes  of  thinking  and  speaking  in 


regard  to  the  Indians  being  driven  from  home  after  home,  and 
robbed  of  tract  after  tract  of  their  lands. 

In  the  Report  of  the  Indian  Bureau  for  1875  is  an  account 
of  a  remnant  of  the  Cherokee  tribe  in  North  Carolina :  "  They 
number  not  far  from  seventeen  hundred,  and  there  are  proba- 
bly in  other  parts  of  North  Carolina,  and  scattered  through 
Georgia  and  Tennessee,  between  three  and  four  hundred  more. 
These  Cherokees  have  had  an  eventful  history.  When  the 
main  portion  of  the  tribe  "was  compelled  to  remove  west  of  the 
Mississippi  they  fled  to  the. mountains,  and  have  steadily  re- 
fused to  leave  their  homes.  The  proceeds  of  their  lands,  which 
were  sold  in  accordance  with  a  treaty  with  the  main  body  of 
the  Cherokees,  have  been  mainly  expended  in  the  purchase  of 
lands,  and  providing  funds  for  the  Western  Cherokees.  At 
various  times  previous  to  the  year  1861  the  agent  for  the 
Eastern  Cherokees,  at  their  request,  purchased  lands  with  their 
funds,  upon  which  they  might  make  their  homes.  These  pur- 
chases, though  probably  made  with  good  intent,  carelessly  left 
the  title  in  their  agent  personally,  and  not  in  trust.  By  this 
neglect,  when  subsequently  the  agent  became  insolvent,  all  their 
lands  were  seized  and  sold  for  his  debts.  By  special  legislation 
of  Congress  their  case  has  been  brought  before  the  courts  of 
North  Carolina,  and  their  rights  to  a  certain  extent  asserted, 
and  they  are  enabled  to  maintain  possession  of  their  lands; 
and,  by  the  use  of  their  own  funds  in  extinguishing  liens,  are 
now  in  possession  of  above  seventy  thousand  acres  of  fair  ara- 
ble, timber,  and  grazing  lands.  They  have  shown  themselves 
capable  of  self-support,  and,  I  believe,  have  demonstrated  the 
unwisdom  of  removing  Indians  from  a  country  which  offers 
to  them  a  home,  and  where  a  white  man  could  make  a  living. 
This  is  shown  by  the  fact  that  they  are  now,  though  receiving 
scarcely  any  Government  aid,  in  a  more  hopeful  condition, 
both  as  to  morals,  and  industry,  and  personal  property,  than 
the  Cherokees  who  removed  West." 


The  Eeport  of  the  Indian  Bureau  for  1876  fully  bears  out 
this  statement.  The  North  Carolina  Cherokees  have,  indeed, 
reason  to  be  in  a  more  hopeful  condition,  for  they  have  their 
lands  secured  to  them  by  patent,  confirmed  by  a  decision  of 
State  courts ;  but  this  is  what  the  Department  of  the  Interior 
has  brought  itself  to  say  as  to  the  Western  Cherokees'  lands, 
and  those  of  all  other  civilized  tribes  in  the  Indian  Territory : 
"  By  treaty  the  Government  has  ceded  to  the  so-called  civilized 
tribes — the  Cherokees,  Creeks,  Choctaws,  Chickasaws,  and  Sem- 
inoles  —  a  section  of  country  altogether  disproportionate  in 
amount  to  their  needs.  *  *  *  The  amount  susceptible  of  cultiva- 
tion must  be  many-fold  greater  than  can  ever  be  cultivated  by 
the  labor  of  the  Indians.  But  the  Indians  claim,  it  is  under- 
stood, that  they  hold  their  lands  by  sanctions  so  solemn  that  it 
would  be  a  gross  breach  of  faith  on  the  part  of  the  Govern- 
ment to  take  away  any  portion  thereof  without  their  consent ; 
and  that  consent  they  apparently  propose  to  withhold." 

Let  us  set  side  by  side  with  this  last  paragraph  a  quotation 
from  the  treaty  by  virtue  of  which  "  the  Indians  claim,  it  is 
understood,  that  they  hold  "  these  lands,  which  they  now  "  ap- 
parently propose  to  withhold."  "We  will  not  copy  it  from  the 
original  treaty ;  we  will  copy  it,  and  a  few  other  sentences  with 
it,  from  an  earlier  report  of  this  same  Department  of  the  In- 
terior. Only  so  far  back  as  1870  we  find  the  Department  in  a 
juster  frame  of  mind  toward  the  Cherokees.  "  A  large  part  of 
the  Indian  tribes  hold  lands  to  which  they  are.  only  fixed  by 
laws  that  define  the  reservations  to  which  they  shall  be  con- 
fined. It  cannot  be  denied  that  these  are  in  a  great  measure 
dependent  on  the  humanity  of  the  American  people.  *  *  *  But 
the  Cherokees,  and  the  other  civilized  Indian  nations  no  less, 
hold  lands  in  perpetuity  by  titles  defined  by  the  supreme  law 
of  the  land.  The  United  States  agreed  '  to  possess  the  Chero- 
kees, and  to  guarantee  it  to  them  forever,'  and  that  guarantee 
*  was  solemnly  pledged  of  seven  million  acres  of  land.'  The 


consideration  for  this  territory  was  the  same  number  of  acres 
elsewhere  located.  The  inducement  to  the  bargain  set  forth  in 
the  treaty  was  *  the  anxious  desire  of  the  Government  of  the 
United  States  to  secure  to  the  Cherokee  nation  of  Indians  a 
permanent  home,  and  which  shall,  under  the  most  solemn  guar- 
antee of  the  United  States,  be  and  remain  theirs  forever — a 
home  that  shall  never  in  all  future  time  be  embarrassed  by  hav- 
ing extended  around  it  the  lines  or  placed  over  it  the  jurisdic- 
tion of  a  Territory  or  State,  or  be  pressed  upon  by  the  exten- 
sion in  any  way  of  the  limits  of  any  existing  State.'  To  assure 
them  of  their  title,  a  patent  for  the  Territory  was  issued." 

This  was  the  view  of  the  Department  of  the  Interior  in  1870. 
In  1876  the  Department  says  that  affairs  in  the  Indian  Terri- 
tory are  "  complicated  and  embarrassing,  and  the  question  is 
directly  raised  whether  an  extensive  section  of  country  is  to  be 
allowed  to  remain  for  an  indefinite  period  practically  an  uncul- 
tivated waste,  or  whether  the  Government  shall  determine  to 
reduce  the  size  of  the  reservation." 

The  phrase  "whether  the  Government  shall  determine  to 
reduce  the  size  of  the  reservation "  sounds  much  better  than 
"  whether  the  Government  shall  rob  the  Indians  of  a  few  mill- 
ions of  acres  of  land ;"  but  the  latter  phrase  is  truth,  and  the 
other  is  the  spirit  of  lying. 

The  commissioner  says  that  the  question  is  a  difficult  one, 
and  should  be  "  considered  with  calmness,  and  a  full  purpose 
to  do  no  injustice  to  the  Indians."  He  gives  his  own  personal 
opinion  on  it  "  with  hesitancy,"  but  gives  it  nevertheless,  that 
"  public  policy  will  soon  require  the  disposal  of  a  large  portion 
of  these  lands  to  the  Government  for  the  occupancy  either  of 
other  tribes  of  Indians  or  of  white  people.  There  is  a  very 
general  and  growing  opinion  that  observance  of  the  strict  letter 
of  treaties  with  Indians  is  in  many  cases  at  variance  with  their 
own  best  interests  and  with  sound  public  policy."  He  adds, 
however,  that  it  must  not  be  understood  from  this  recommen- 


dation  that  it  is  "  the  policy  or  purpose  of  tliis  office  to  in  any 
way  encourage  the  spirit  of  rapacity  which  demands  the  throw- 
ing open  of  the  Indian  Territory  to  white  settlement."  He 
says,  "  the  true  way  to  secure  its  perpetual  occupancy  by  In- 
dians is  to  fill  it  up  with  other  Indians,  to  give  them  lands  in 
severalty,  and  to  provide  a  government  strong  and  intelligent 
enough  to  protect  them  effectually  from  any  and  all  encroach- 
ments on  the  part  of  the  whites." 

Comment  on  these  preposterously  contradictory  sentences 
would  be  idle.  The  best  comment  on  them,  and  the  most  fit- 
ting close  to  this  sketch  of  the  Cherokee  nation,  is  in  a  few 
more  quotations  from  the  official  reports  of  the  Indian  Bureau. 

Of  this  people,  from  whom  the  Department  of  the  Interior 
proposes,  for  "public  policy,"  to  take  away  "a  large  portion" 
of  their  country,  it  has  published  within  the  last  three  years 
these  records : 

"  It  has  been  but  a  few  years  since  the  Cherokees  assembled 
in  council  under  trees  or  in  a  rude  log-house,  with  hewed  logs 
for  seats.  Now  the  legislature  assembles  in  a  spacious  brick 
council-house,  provided  with  suitable  committee-rooms,  senate 
chamber,  representative  hall,  library,  and  executive  offices,  which 
cost  $22,000. 

"  Their  citizens  occupy  neat  hewed  double  log-cabins,  frame, 
brick,  or  stone  houses,  according  to  the  means  or  taste  of  the , 
individual,  with  ground  adorned  by  ornamental  trees,  shrub- 
bery, flowers,  and  nearly  every  improvement,  including  or- 
chards of  the  choicest  fruits.  Some  of  these  orchards  have 
existed  for  nearly  twenty  years,  and  are  now  in  a  good,  fruitful 
condition.  Their  women  are  usually  good  house-keepers,  and 
give  great  attention  to  spinning  and  weaving  yarns,  jeans,  and 
linsey,  and  make  most  of  the  pants  and  hunter-jackets  of  the 
men  and  boys.  The  farmers  raise  most  of  their  own  wool  and 
cotton,  and  it  is  not  an  uncommon  sight,  in  a  well-to-do  Chero- 
kee farmer's  house,  to  see  a  sewing-machine  and  a  piano. 


"  They  have  ample  provision  for  the  education  of  all  thcii 
children  to  a  degree  of  advancement  equal  to  that  furnished 
by  an  ordinary  college  in  the  States.  They  have  seventy-five 
common  day-schools,  kept  open  ten  months  in  the  year,  in  the 
different  settlements.  For  the  higher  education  of  their  young 
men  and  women  they  have  two  commodious  and  well-furnished 
seminaries,  one  for  each  sex ;  and,  in  addition  to  those  already 
mentioned,  they  have  a  manual  labor  school  and  an  orphan 
asylum.  The  cost  of  maintaining  these  schools  the  past  year 
(1877)  was,  as  reported  by  the  superintendent  of  public  in- 
struction, $73,441  65,  of  which  $41,475  was  paid  as  salary  to 

"  They  have  twenty-four  stores,  twenty-two  mills,  and  sixty- 
five  smith-shops,  owned  and  conducted  by  their  own  citizens. 

"Their  constitution  and  laws  are  published  in  book  form; 
and  from  their  printing-house  goes  forth  among  the  people  in 
their  own  language,  and  also  in  English,  the  Cherokee  Advo- 
cate, a  weekly  paper,  which  is  edited  with  taste  and  ability. 

"  They  have  (and  this  is  true  also  of  the  Choctaws,  Creeks, 
Chickasaws,  and  Seminoles)  a  constitutional  government,  with 
legislative,  judicial,  and  executive  departments,  and  conducted 
upon  the  same  plan  as  our  State  governments,  the  entire  ex- 
penses of  which  are  paid  out  of  their  own  funds,  which  are  de- 
rived from  interest  on  various  stocks  and  bonds — the  invested 
proceeds  of  the  sale  of  their  lands,  and  held  in  trust  by  the 
Government  of  the  United  States— which  interest  is  paid  the 
treasurers  of  the  different  nations  semi-annually,  and  by  them 
disbursed  on  national  warrants  issued  by  the  principal  chief 
and  secretary,  and  registered  by  the  auditors. 

"  They  are  an  intelligent,  temperate,  and  industrious  people, 
who  live  by  the  honest  fruits  of  their  labor,  and  seem  ambi- 
tious to  advance  both  as  to  the  development  of  their  lands  and 
the  conveniences  of  their  homes.  In  their  council  may  be 
found  men  of  learning  and  ability;  and  it  is  doubtful  if  their 


rapid  progress  from  a  state  of  -wild  barbarism  to  that  of  civili- 
zation and  enliglitenment  has  any  parallel  in  the  history  of  the 
world.  What  required  five  hundred  years  for  the  Britons  to 
accomplish  in  this  direction  they  have  accomplished  in  one  hun- 
dred years." 

Will  the  United  States  Government  determine  to  "reduce 
the  size  of  the  reservation  ?" 





I. — The  Conestoga  Massacre. 

WHEN  the  English  first  entered  Pennsylvania  messengers 
from  the  Conestoga  Indians  met  them,  bidding  them  welcome, 
and  bringing  gifts  of  corn  and  venison  and  skins.  The  whole 
tribe  entered  into  a  treaty  of  friendship  with  William  Penn, 
which  was  to  last  "as  long  as  the  sun  should  shine  or  the 
waters  run  into  the  rivers." 

The  records  of  Pennsylvania  history  in  the  beginning  of  the 
eighteenth  century  contain  frequent  mention  of  the  tribe.  In 
1*705  the  governor  sent  the  secretary  of  his  council,  with  a  del- 
egation of  ten  men,  to  hold  an  interview  with  them  at  Cones- 
toga,  for  purposes  of  mutual  understanding  and  confidence. 
And  in  that  same  year  Thomas  Chalkley,  a  famous  Quaker 
preacher,  while  sojourning  among  the  Maryland  Quakers,  was 
suddenly  seized  with  so  great  a  "concern"  to  visit  these  In- 
dians that  he  laid  the  matter  before  the  elders  at  the  Notting- 
ham meeting ;  and,  the  idea  being  "  promoted  "  by  the  elders, 
he  set  off  with  an  interpreter  and  a  party  of  fourteen  to  make 
the  journey.  He  says:  "We  travelled  through  the  woods 
about  fifty  miles,  carrying  our  provisions  with  us ;  and  on  the 
journey  sat  down  by  a  river  and  spread  our  food  on  the  grass, 
and  refreshed  ourselves  and  horses,  and  then  went  on  cheer- 
fully and  with  good-will  and  much  love  to  the  poor  Indians. 
And  when  we  came  they  received  us  kindly,  treating  us  civilly 
in  their  way.  We  treated  about  having  a  meeting  with  them 
in  a  religious  way ;  upon  which  they  called  a  council,  in  which 


they  were  very  grave,  and  spoke,  one  after  another,  without 
any  heat  or  jarring.  Some  of  the  most  esteemed  of  their 
women  speak  in  their  councils." 

When  asked  why  they  suffered  the  women  to  speak,  they 
replied  that  "some  women  were  wiser  than  some  men."  It 
was  said  that  they  had  not  for  many  years  done  anything  with- 
out the  advice  of  a  certain  aged  and  grave  woman,  who  was  al- 
ways present  at  their  councils.  The  interpreter  said  that  she 
was  an  empress,  and  that  they  gave  much  heed  to  what  she 
said.  This  wise  queen  of  Conestoga  looked  with  great  favor 
on  the  Quakers,  the  interpreter  said,  because  they  "  did  not 
come  to  buy  or  sell,  or  get  gain ;"  but  came  "  in  love  and  re- 
spect "  to  them,  "  and  desired  their  well-doing,  both  here  and 
hereafter."  Two  nations  at  this  time  were  represented  in  this 
Conestoga  band — the  Senecas  and  the  Shawanese. 

The  next  year  the  governor  himself,  anxious  to  preserve 
their  inalienable  good-will,  and  to  prevent  their  being  seduced 
by  emissaries  from  the  French,  went  himself  to  visit  them. 
On  this  occasion  one  of  the  chiefs  made  a  speech,  still  pre- 
served in  the  old  records,  which  contains  this  passage :  "  Father, 
we  love  quiet ;  we  suffer  the  mouse  to  play ;  when  the  woods 
are  rustled  by  the  wind,  we  fear  not;  when  the  leaves  are  dis- 
turbed in  ambush,  we  are  uneasy ;  when  a  cloud  obscures  your 
brilliant  sun,  our  eyes  feel  dim ;  but  when  the  rays  appear,  they 
give  great  heat  to  the  body  and  joy  to  the  heart.  Treachery 
darkens  the  chain  of  friendship ;  but  truth  makes  it  brighter 
than  ever.  This  is  the  peace  we  desire." 

A  few  years  later  a  Swedish  missionary  visited  them,  and 
preached  them  a  sermon  on  original  sin  and  the  necessity  of  a 
mediator.  When  he  had  finished,  an  Indian  chief  rose  and  re- 
plied to  him ;  both  discourses  being  given  through  an  interpret- 
er. The  Swede  is  said  to  have  been  so  impressed  with  the  In- 
dian's reasoning  that,  after  returning  to  Sweden,  he  wrote  out 
his  own  sermon  and  the  Indian's  reply  in  the  best  Latin  at  his 


command,  and  dedicated  the  documents  to  the  University  of 
Upsal,  respectfully  requesting  them  to  furnish  him  with  some 
arguments  strong  enough  to  confute  the  strong  reasonings  of 
this  savage. 

"Our  forefathers,"  said  the  chief,  "were  under  a  strong 
persuasion  (as  we  are)  that  those  who  act  well  in  this  life  will 
be  rewarded  in  the  next  according  to  the  degrees  of  their  vir* 
tues ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  that  those  who  behave  wicked- 
ly here  will  undergo  such  punishments  hereafter  as  were  pro- 
portionate to  the  crimes  they  were  guilty  of.  This  has  been 
constantly  and  invariably  received  and  acknowledged  for  a 
truth  through  every  successive  generation  of  our  ancestors.  It 
could  not,  then,  have  taken  its  rise  from  fable ;  for  human  fic- 
tion, however  artfully  and  plausibly  contrived,  can  never  gain 
credit  long  among  people  where  free  inquiry  is  allowed,  which 
was  never  denied  by  our  ancestors.  *  *  *  Now  we  desire  to  pro- 
pose some  questions.  Does  he  believe  that  our  forefathers, 
men  eminent  for  their  piety,  constant  and  warm  in  their  pur- 
suit of  virtue,  hoping  thereby  to  merit  eternal  happiness,  were 
all  damned  ?  Does  he  think  that  we  who  are  zealous  imitators 
in  good  works,  and  influenced  by  the  same  motives  as  we  are, 
earnestly  endeavoring  with  the  greatest  circumspection  to  tread 
the  path  of  integrity,  are  in  a  state  of  damnation  ?  If  that  be  his 
sentiment,  it  is  surely  as  impious  as  it  is  bold  and  daring.  *  *  * 
Let  us  suppose  that  some  heinous  crimes  were  committed  by 
some  of  our  ancestors,  like  to  that  we  are  told  of  another 
race  of  people.  In  such  a  case  God  would  certainly  punish 
the  criminal,  but  would  never  involve  us  that  are  innocent  in 
the  guilt.  Those  who  think  otherwise  must  make  the  Al- 
mighty a  very  whimsical,  evil-natured  being.  *  *  *  Once  more : 
are  the  Christians  more  virtuous,  or,  rather,  are  they  not  more 
vicious  than  we  are  ?  If  so,  how  came  it  to  pass  that  they 
are  the  objects  of  God's  beneficence,  while  we  are  neglected  1 
Does  he  daily  confer  his  favors  without  reason  and  with  so 


much  partiality  ?  In  a  word,  we  find  the  Christians  much 
more  depraved  in  their  morals  than  we  are ;  and  we  judge 
from  their  doctrine  by  the  badness  of  their  lives." 

It  is  plain  that  this  Indian  chief's  speech  was  very  much 
Latinized  in  the  good  Swede's  hands ;  but  if  the  words  even 
approached  being  a  true  presentation  of  what  he  said,  it  is 
wonderful  indeed. 

In  1721  His  Excellency  Sir  William  Keith,  Bart.,  Governor 
of  the  Province  of  Pennsylvania,  went  with  an  escort  of  eighty 
horsemen  to  Conestoga,  and  spent  several  days  in  making  a 
treaty  with  the  representatives  of  the  Five  Nations,  "  the  In- 
dians of  Conestoga  and  their  friends."  He  was  entertained  at 
"  Captain  Civility's  cabin."  When  he  left  them,  he  desired 
them  to  give  his  "  very  kind  love  and  the  love  of  all  our  peo- 
ple to  your  kings  and  to  all  their  people."  He  invited  them 
to  visit  him  in  Philadelphia,  saying, "  We  can  provide  better  for 
you  and  make  you  more  welcome.  People  always  receive  their 
friends  best  at  their  own  homes."  He  then  took  out  a  corona- 
tion medal  of  the  King,  and  presented  it  to  the  Indian  in  these 
words :  "  That  our  children  when  we  are  dead  may  not  forget 
these  things,  but  keep  this  treaty  between  us  in  perpetual  re- 
membrance, I  here  deliver  to  you  a  picture  in  gold,  bearing  the 
image  of  my  great  master,  the  King  of  all  the  English.  And 
when  you  return  home,  I  charge  you  to  deliver  this  piece  into 
the  hands  of  the  first  man  or  greatest  chief  of  all  the  Five  Na- 
tions, whom  you  call  Kannygoodk,  to  be  laid  up  and  kept  as 
a  token  to  our  children's  children  that  an  entire  and  lasting 
friendship  is  now  established  forever  between  the  English  in 
this  country  and  the  great  Five  Nations." 

At  this  time  the  village  of  Conestoga  was  described  as  lying 
"  about  seventy  miles  west  of  Philadelphia.  The  land  therea- 
bout being  exceeding  rich,  it  is  now  surrounded  with  divers  fine 
plantations  and  farms,  where  they  raise  quantities  of  wheat, 
barley,  flax,  and  hemp,  without  the  help  of  any  dung," 


The  next  year,  also,  was  marked  by  a  council  of  great  sig- 
nificance at  Conestoga.  In  the  spring  of  this  year  an  Indian 
called  Saanteenee  had  been  killed  by  two  white  men,  brothers, 
named  Cartledge.  At  this  time  it  was  not  only  politic  but 
necessary  for  the  English  to  keep  on  good  terms  with  as  many 
Indians  as  possible.  Therefore,  the  old  record  says,  "  Policy 
and  justice  required  a  rigid  inquiry  "  into  this  affair,  and  the 
infliction  of  "  exemplary  punishment." 

Accordingly,  the  Cartledges  were  arrested  and  confined  in 
Philadelphia,  and  the  high-sheriff  of  Chester  County  went,  with 
two  influential  men  of  the  province,  to  Conestoga,  to  confei' 
with  the  Indians  as  to  what  should  be  done  with  them.  The 
Indians  were  unwilling  to  decide  the  matter  without  advice 
from  the  Five  Nations,  to  whom  they  owed  allegiance.  A 
swift  runner  (Satcheecho)  was,  therefore,  sent  northward  with 
the  news  of  the  occurrence ;  and  the  governor,  with  two  of  his 
council,  went  to  Albany  to  hear  what  the  Five  Nations  had  to 
say  about  it  What  an  inconceivable  spectacle  to  us  to-day  : 
the  governments  of  Pennsylvania  and  New  York  so  fully  rec- 
ognizing an  Indian  to  be  a  "  person,"  and  his  murder  a  thing 
to  be  anxiously  and  swiftly  atoned  for  if  possible ! 

Only  a  little  more  than  a  hundred  and  fifty  years  lie  between 
this  murder  of  Saanteenee  in  Conestoga  and  the  murder  of  Big 
Snake  on  the  Ponca  Reservation  in  1880.  Verily,  Policy  has 
kept  a  large  assortment  of  spectacles  for  Justice  to  look  through 
in  a  surprising  short  space  of  time. 

On  the  decision  of  the  king  and  chiefs  of  the  Five  Nations 
hung  the  fate  of  the  murderers.  Doubtless  the  brothers  Cart- 
ledge  made  up  their  minds  to  die.  The  known  principles  of 
the  Indians  in  the  matter  of  avenging  injuries  certainly  left 
them  little  room  for  hope.  But  no !  The  Five  Nations  took 
a  different  view.  They  "desired  that  the  Cartledges  should 
not  suffer  death,  and  the  affair  was  at  length  amicably  settled," 
says  the  old  record.  "One  life,"  said  the  Indian  king,  "on 


this  occasion,  is  enough  to  be  lost.  There  should  not  two 

This  was  in  1722.  In  1763  there  were  only  twenty  of  these 
Conestoga  Indians  left — seven  men,  five  women,  and  eight  chil- 
dren. They  were  still  living  in  their  village  on  the  Shawanee 
Creek,  their  lands  being  assured  to  them  by  manorial  gift ;  but 
they  were  miserably  poor — earned  by  making  brooms,  baskets, 
and  wooden  bowls  a  part  of  their  living,  and  begged  the  rest 
They  were  wholly  peaceable  and  unoffending,  friendly  to  their 
white  neighbors,  and  pitifully  clinging  and  affectionate,  naming 
their  children  after  whites  who  were  kind  to  them,  and  striving 
in  every  way  to  show  their  gratitude  and  good-will 

Upon  this  little  community  a  band  of  wbite  men,  said  by 
some  of  the  old  records  to  be  "  Presbyterians,"  from  Paxton, 
made  an  attack  at  daybreak  on  the  14th  of  December.  They 
found  only  six  of  the  Indians  at  home — three  men,  two  women, 
and  a  boy.  The  rest  were  away,  either  at  work  for  the  white 
farmers  or  selling  their  little  wares.  "  These  poor  defenceless 
creatures  were  immediately  fired  upon,  stabbed,  and  hatcheted 
to  death ;  the  good  Shebaes,  among  the  rest,  cut  to  pieces  in  his 
bed.  All  of  them  were  scalped  and  otherwise  horribly  mangled, 
then  their  huts  were  set  on  fire,  and  most  of  them  burnt  down." 

"  Shebaes  was  a  very  old  man,  having  assisted  at  the  second 
treaty  held  with  Mr.Penn,  in  1701,  and  ever  since  continued  a 
faithful  friend  to  the  English.  He  is  said  to  have  been  an  ex- 
ceeding good  man,  considering  his  education ;  being  naturally 
of  a  most  kind,  benevolent  temper." 

From  a  manuscript  journal  kept  at  this  time,  and  belonging 
to  the  great-granddaughter  of  Eobert  Barber,  the  first  settler  in 
Lancaster  County,  are  gathered  the  few  details  known  of  this 
massacre.  "Some  of  the  murderers  went  directly  from  the 
scene  of  their  crime  to  Mr.  Barber's  house.  They  were  stran- 
gers to  him ;  but,  with  the  hospitality  of  those  days,  he  made 
a  fire  for  them  and  set  refreshments  before  them. 


"While  they  warmed  themselves,  they  inquired  why  the 
Indians  were  suffered  to  live  peaceably  here.  Mr.  Barber  said 
they  were  entirely  inoffensive,  living  on  their  own  lands  and 
injuring  no  one.  They  asked  what  would  be  the  consequence 
if  they  were  all  destroyed.  Mr.  Barber  said  he  thought  they 
would  be  as  liable  to  punishment  as  if  they  had  destroyed  so 
many  white  men.  They  said  they  were  of  a  different  opinion, 
and  in  a  few  minutes  went  out.  In  the  mean  time  two  sons  of 
Mr.  Barber's,  about  ten  or  twelve  years  old,  went  out  to  look 
at  the  strangers'  horses,  which  were  hitched  at  a  little  distance 
from  the  house. 

"After  the  men  went  the  boys  came  in,  and  said  that  they 
had  tomahawks  tied  to  their  saddles  which  were  all  bloody, 
and  that  they  had  Christy's  gun.  Christy  was  a  little  Indian 
boy  about  their  own  age.  They  were  much  attached  to  him, 
as  he  was  their  playmate,  and  made  bows  and  arrows  for 

While  the  family  were  talking  over  this,  and  wondering 
what  it  could  mean,  a  messenger  came  running  breathless  to 
inform  them  of  what  had  happened.  Mr.  Barber  went  at  once 
to  the  spot,  and  there  he  found  the  murdered  Indians  lying 
in  the  smouldering  ruins  of  their  homes, "  like  half-consumed 
logs."  He, "  with  some  trouble,  procured  their  bodies,  to  ad- 
minister to  them  the  rights  of  sepulture." 

"  It  was  said  that  at  the  beginning  of  the  slaughter  an  In- 
dian mother  placed  her  little  child  under  a  barrel,  charging  it 
to  make  no  noise,  and  that  a  shot  was  fired  through  the  barrel 
which  broke  the  child's  arm,  and  still  it  kept  silent." 

The  magistrates  of  Lancaster,  shocked,  as  well  they  might 
be,  at  this  frightful  barbarity,  sent  messengers  out  immediately, 
and  took  the  remaining  Indians,  wherever  they  were  found, 
brought  them  into  the  town  for  protection,  and  lodged  them 
in  the  newly-erected  workhouse  or  jail,  which  was  the  strongest 
building  in  the  place.  The  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  issued  a 


proclamation,  ordering  all  judges,  sheriffs,  and  "  all  His  Hajes- 
ty's  liege  subjects  in  the  province,"  to  make  every  effort  to 
apprehend  the  authors  and  perpetrators  of  this  crime,  also 
their  abettors  and  accomplices.  But  the  "  Paxton  Boys  "  held 
magistrates  and  governor  alike  in  derision.  Two  weeks  later 
they  assembled  again,  fifty  strong,  rode  to  Lancaster,  dismount- 
ed, broke  open  the  doors  of  the  jail,  and  killed  every  Indian 

"  When  the  poor  wretches  saw  they  had  no  protection  nigh, 
nor  could  possibly  escape,  and  being  without  the  least  weapon 
of  defence,  they  divided  their  little  families,  the  children  cling- 
ing to  their  parents.  They  fell  on  their  faces,  protested  their 
innocence,  declared  their  love  to  the  English,  and  that  in  their 
whole  lives  they  had  never  done  them  injury.  And  in  this 
posture  they  all  received  the  hatchet  Men,  women,  and  chil- 
dren were  every  one  inhumanly  murdered  in  cold  blood.  *  *  * 
The  barbarous  men  who  committed  the  atrocious  act,  in  defi- 
ance of  government,  of  all  laws,  human  and  divine,  and  to  the 
eternal  disgrace  of  their  country  and  color,  then  mounted  their 
horses,  huzzaed  in  triumph,  as  if  they  had  gained  a  victory, 
and  rode  off  unmolested.  *  *  *  The  bodies  of  the  murdered 
were  then  brought  out  and  exposed  in  the  street  till  a  hole 
could  be  made  in  the  earth  to  receive  and  cover  them.  But 
the  wickedness  cannot  be  covered,  and  the  guilt  will  lie  on  the 
whole  land  till  justice  is  done  on  the  murderers.  The  blood 
of  the  innocent  will  cry  to  Heaven  for  vengeance." 

These  last  extracts  are  from  a  pamphlet  printed  in  Phila- 
delphia at  the  time  of  the  massacre;  printed  anonymously, 
because  "so  much  had  fear  seized  the  minds  of  the  people" 
that  neither  the  writer  nor  the  printer  dared  to  give  "  name  or 
place  of  abode." 

There  are  also  private  letters  still  preserved  which  give  ac- 
counts of  the  affair.  A  part  of  one  from  William  Henry,  of 
Lancaster,  to  a  friend  in  Philadelphia,  is  given  in  "  Eupp's  His- 



tory  of  Lancaster  County."  He  says,  "A  regiment  of  High- 
landers were  at  that  time  quartered  at  the  barracks  in  the 
town,  and  yet  these  murderers  were  permitted  to  break  open 
the  doors  of  the  city  jail  and  commit  the  horrid  deed.  The 
first  notice  I  had  of  the  affair  was  that,  while  at  my  father's 
store  near  the  court-house,  I  saw  a  number  of  people  running 
down-street  toward  the  jail,  which  enticed  me  and  other  lads 
to  follow  them.  At  about  six  or  eight  yards  from  the  jail  we 
met  from  twenty-five  to  thirty  men,  well  mounted  on  horses, 
and  with  rifles,  tomahawks,  and  scalping-knives,  equipped  fot 
murder.  I  ran  into  the  prison-yard,  and  there,  oh,  what  a  hor- 
rid sight  presented  itself  to  my  view !  Near  the  back  door  of 
the  prison  lay  an  old  Indian  and  his  squaw,  particularly  well 
known  and  esteemed  by  the  people  of  the  town  on  account  of 
his  placid  and  friendly  conduct.  His  name  was  Will  Soc. 
Around  him  and  his  squaw  lay  two  children,  about  the  age  of 
three  years,  whose  heads  were  split  with  the  tomahawk  and 
their  scalps  taken  off.  Toward  the  middle  of  the  jail -yard, 
along  the  west  side  of  the  wall,  lay  a  stout  Indian,  whom  I  par- 
ticularly noticed  to  have  been  shot  in  his  breast.  His  legs 
were  chopped  with  the  tomahawk,  his  hands  cut  off,  and  finally 
a  rifle-ball  discharged  in  his  mouth,  so  that  his  head  was  blown 
to  atoms,  and  the  brains  were  splashed  against  and  yet  hanging 
to  the  wall  for  three  or  four  feet  around.  This  man's  hands 
and  feet  had  been  chopped  off  with  a  tomahawk.  In  this 
manner  lay  the  whole  of  them — men,  women,  and  children — 
spread  about  the  prison-yard,  shot,  scalped,  hacked,  and  cut  to 

After  this  the  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  issued  a  second 
proclamation,  still  more  stringent  than  the  first,  and  offering  a 
reward  of  $600  for  the  apprehension  of  any  three  of  the 

But  the  "Paxton  Boys"  were  now  like  wild  beasts  that  had 
tasted  blood.  They  threatened  to  attack  the  Quakers  and  all 


persons  who  sympathized  with  or  protected  Indians.  They 
openly  mocked  and  derided  the  governor  and  his  proclama- 
tions, and  set  off  at  once  for  Philadelphia,  announcing  their 
intention  of  killing  all  the  Moravian  Indians  who  had  been 
placed  under  the  protection  of  the  military  there. 

Their  march  through  the  country  was  like  that  of  a  band  of 
maniacs.  In  a  private  letter  written  by  David  Rittenhouse  at 
this  time,  he  says,  "About  fifty  of  these  scoundrels  marched  by 
my  workshop.  I  have  seen  hundreds  of  Indians  travelling  the 
country,  and  can  with  truth  affirm  that  the  behavior  of  these 
fellows  was  ten  times  more  savage  and  brutal  than  theirs. 
Frightening  women  by  running  the  muzzles  of  guns  through 
windows,  hallooing  and  swearing ;  attacking  men  without  the 
least  provocation,  dragging  them  by  the  hair  to  the  ground,  and 
pretending  to  scalp  them ;  shooting  dogs  and  fowls :  these  are 
some  of  their  exploits." 

It  is  almost  past  belief  that  at  this  time  many  people  justi- 
fied these  acts.  An  Episcopalian  clergyman  in  Lancaster  wrote 
vindicating  them,  "bringing  Scripture  to  prove  that  it  was 
right  to  destroy  the  heathen ;"  and  the  "  Presbyterians  think 
they  have  a  better  justification — nothing  less  than  the  Word 
of  God,"  says  one  of  the  writers  on  the  massacre. 

"  With  the  Scriptures  in  their  hands  and  mouths,  they  can 
set  at  naught  that  express  command,  *  Thou  shalt  do  no  mur- 
der,' and  justify  their  wickedness  by  the  command  given  to 
Joshua  to  destroy  the  heathen.  Horrid  perversion  of  Script- 
ure and  religion,  to  father  the  worst  of  crimes  on  the  God  of 
Love  and  Peace  1"  It  is  a  trite  saying  that  history  repeats  it- 
self ;  but  it  is  impossible  to  read  now  these  accounts  of  the 
massacres  of  defenceless  and  peaceable  Indians  in  the  middle 
of  the  eighteenth  century,  without  the  reflection  that  the  rec- 
ord of  the  nineteenth  is  blackened  by  the  same  stains.  What 
Pennsylvania  pioneers  did  in  1763  to  helpless  and  peaceable 
Indians  of  Conestoga,  Colorado  pioneers  did  in  1864  to  help 


less  and  peaceable  Cheyennes  at  Sand  Creek,  and  have  threat* 
ened  to  do  again  to  helpless  and  peaceable  Utes  in  1880.  The 
word  "  extermination  "  is  as  ready  on  the  frontiersman's  tongue 
to-day  as  it  was  a  hundred  years  ago ;  and  the  threat  is  more 
portentous  now,  seeing  that  we  are,  by  a  whole  century  of 
prosperity,  stronger  and  more  numerous,  and  the  Indians  are, 
by  a  whole  century  of  suffering  and  oppression,  fewer  and 
weaker.  But  our  crime  is  baser  and  our  infamy  deeper  in  the 
same  proportion. 

Close  upon  this  Conestoga  massacre  followed  a  "  removal " 
of  friendly  Indians — the  earliest  on  record,  and  one  whose 
cruelty  and  cost  to  the  suffering  Indians  well  entitle  it  to  a 
place  in  a  narrative  of  massacres. 

Everywhere  in  the  provinces  fanatics  began  to  renew  the 
old  cry  that  the  Indians  were  the  Canaanites  whom  God  ha<J 
commanded  Joshua  to  destroy;  and  that  these  wars  were  a 
token  of  God's  displeasure  with  the  Europeans  for  permitting 
the  "heathen"  to  live.  Soon  it  became  dangerous  for  a  Mo- 
ravian Indian  to  be  seen  anywhere.  In  vain  did  he  carry  one 
of  the  Pennsylvania  governor's  passports  in  his  pocket.  He 
was  liable  to  be  shot  at  sight,  with  no  time  to  pull  his  passport 
out.  Even  in  the  villages  there  was  no  safety.  The  devoted 
congregations  watched  and  listened  night  and  day,  not  know- 
ing at  what  hour  they  might  hear  the  fatal  warwhoop  of  hos- 
tile members  of  their  own  race,  coming  to  slay  them ;  or  the 
sudden  shots  of  white  settlers,  coming  to  avenge  on  them  out- 
rages committed  by  savages  hundreds  of  miles  away. 

With  every  report  that  arrived  of  Indian  massacres  at  the 
North,  the  fury  of  the  white  people  all  over  the  country  rose 
to  greater  height,  including  even  Christian  Indians  in  its  un- 
reasoning hatred.  But,  in  the  pious  language  of  a  narrative 
written  by  one  of  the  Moravian  missionaries,  "God  inclined 
the  hearts  of  the  chief  magistrates  to  protect  them.  Novem* 
ber  6th  an  express  arrived  from  Philadelphia,  bringing  an  or 


der  that  all  the  baptized  Indians  from  Nam  and  Wcchquetank 
should  be  brought  to  Philadelphia,  and  be  protected  in  that  city, 
having  first  delivered  up  their  arms." 

Two  days  later  both  these  congregations  set  out  on  their  sad 
journey,  weeping  as  they  left  their  homes.  They  joined  forces 
at  Bethlehem,  on  the  banks  of  the  Lecha,  and  "entered  upon 
their  pilgrimage  in  the  name  of  the  Lord,  the  congregation  of 
Bethlehem  standing  spectators,  and,  as  they  passed,  commend- 
ing them  to  the  grace  and  protection  of  God,  with  supplica- 
tion and  tears." 

Four  of  the  Moravian  missionaries  were  with  them,  and  some 
of  the  brethren  from  Bethlehem  accompanied  them  all  the  way, 
"  the  sheriff,  Mr.  Jennings,  caring  for  them  as  a  father." 

The  aged,  the  sick,  and  the  little  children  were  carried  in 
wagons.  All  the  others,  women  and  men,  went  on  foot.  The 
November  rains  had  made  the  roads  very  heavy.  As  the  wea- 
ry and  heart-broken  people  toiled  slowly  along  through  the 
mud,  they  were  saluted  with  curses  and  abuse  on  all  sides.  As 
they  passed  through  the  streets  of  Germantown  a  mob  gather- 
ed and  followed  them,  taunting  them  with  violent  threats  of 
burning,  hanging,  and  other  tortures.  It  was  said  that  a  party 
had  been  organized  to  make  a  serious  attack  on  them,  but  was 
deterred  by  the  darkness  and  the  storm.  Four  days  were  con- 
sumed in  this  tedious  march,  and  on  the  llth  of  November 
they  reached  Philadelphia.  Here,  spite  of  the  governor's  pos- 
itive order,  the  officers  in  command  at  the  barracks  refused 
to  allow  them  to  enter.  From  ten  in  the  forenoon  till  three 
in  the  afternoon  there  the  helpless  creatures  stood  before  the 
shut  gate  —  messengers  going  back  and  forth  between  the 
defiant  garrison  and  the  bewildered  and  impotent  governor; 
the  mob,  thickening  and  growing  more  and  more  riotous  hour 
by  hour,  pressing  the  Indians  on  every  side,  jeering  them,  re- 
viling them,  charging  them  with  all  manner  of  outrages,  and 
threatening  to  kill  them  on  the  spot.  The  missionaries,  brave- 


Iy  standing  beside  their  flock,  in  vain  tried  to  stem  or  turn  the 
torrent  of  insult  and  abuse.  All  that  they  accomplished  was 
to  draw  down  the  same  insult  and  abuse  on  their  own  heads. 

Nothing  but  the  Indians'  marvellous  patience  and  silence 
saved  them  from  being  murdered  by  this  exasperated  mob. 
To  the  worst  insults  they  made  no  reply,  no  attempt  at  retalia- 
tion or  defence.  They  afterward  said  that  they  had  comforted 
themselves  "  by  considering  what  insult  and  mockery  our  Sav- 
iour had  suffered  on  their  account." 

At  last,  after  five  hours  of  this,  the  governor,  unable  to  com- 
pel the  garrison  to  open  the  barracks,  sent  an  order  that  the 
Indians  should  be  taken  to  Province  Island,  an  island  in  the 
Delaware  Eiver  joined  to  the  main-land  by  a  dam.  Six  miles 
more,  every  mile  in  'risk  of  their  lives,  the  poor  creatures  walk- 
ed. As  they  passed  again  through  the  city,  thousands  fol- 
lowed them,  the  old  record  says,  and  "  with  such  tumultuous 
clamor  that  they  might  truly  be  considered  as  sheep  among 

Long  after  dark  they  reached  the  island,  and  were  lodged  in 
some  unused  buildings,  large  and  comfortless.  There  they  kept 
their  vesper  service,  and  took  heart  from  the  fact  that  the  verse 
for  the  day  was  that  verse  of  the  beautiful  thirty-second  psalm 
•which  has  comforted  so  many  perplexed  souls :  "  I  will  teach 
thee  in  the  way  thou  shalt  go." 

Here  they  settled  themselves  as  best  they  could.  The  mis- 
sionaries had  their  usual  meetings  with  them,  and  humane  peo- 
ple from  Philadelphia,  "  especially  some  of  the  people  called 
Quakers,"  sent  them  provisions  and  fuel,  and  tried  in  various 
ways  to  "render  the  inconvenience  of  their  situation  less 

Before  they  had  been  here  a  month  some  of  the  villages 
they  had  left  were  burnt,  and  the  riotous  Paxton  mob,  which 
had  murdered  all  the  peaceful  Conestogn,  Indians,  announced  its 
intention  of  marching  on  Province  Island  and  killing  every  In- 


dian  there.  The  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  launched  procla- 
mation after  proclamation,  forbidding  any  one,  under  severest 
penalties,  to  molest  the  Indians  under  its  protection,  and  offer- 
ing a  reward  of  two  hundred  pounds  for  the  apprehension  of 
the  ringleaders  of  the  insurgents.  But  public  sentiment  was 
inflamed  to  such  a  degree  that  the  Government  was  practi- 
cally powerless.  The  known  ringleaders  and  their  sympathiz- 
ers paraded  contemptuously  in  front  of  the  governor's  house, 
mocking  him  derisively,  and  not  even  two  hundred  pounds 
would  tempt  any  man  to  attack  them.  In  many  parts  of  Lan- 
caster County  parties  were  organized  with  the  avowed  inten- 
tion of  marching  on  Philadelphia  and  slaughtering  all  the  In- 
dians under  the  protection  of  the  Government.  Late  on  the 
29th  of  December  rumors  reached  Philadelphia  that  a  large 
party  of  these  rioters  were  on  the  road ;  and  the  governor,  at 
daybreak  the  next  day,  sent  large  boats  to  Province  Island, 
with  orders  to  the  missionaries  to  put  their  people  on  board  as 
quickly  as  possible,  row  to  Leek  Island,  and  await  further  or- 
ders. In  confusion  and  terror  the  congregations  obeyed,  and 
fled  to  Leek  Island.  Later  in  the  day  came  a  second  letter 
from  the  governor,  telling  them  that  the  alarm  had  proved  a 
false  one.  They  might  return  to  Province  Island,  where  he 
would  send  them  a  guard ;  and  that  they  would  better  keep 
the  boats,  to  be  ready  in  case  of  a  similar  emergency. 

"  They  immediately  returned  with  joy  to  their  former  habi- 
tation," says  the  old  record,  "  comforted  by  the  text  for  the 
day — 'The  Lord  is  my  strength  and  my  shield;  my  heart 
trusted  in  him '  (Ps.  xxviii.,  7) — and  closed  this  remarkable 
year  with  prayer  and  thanksgiving  for  all  the  proofs  of  the 
help  of  God  in  so  many  heavy  trials." 

Four  days  later  the  missionaries  received  a  second  order  for 
instant  departure.  The  reports  of  the  murderous  intentions  of 
the  rioters  being  confirmed,  and  the  governor  seeing  only  too 
clearly  his  own  poweiiessness  to  contend  with  them,  he  had  re- 


solved  to  send  the  Indians  northward,  and  put  them  under  the 
protection  of  the  English  army,  and  especially  of  Sir  William 
Johnson,  agent  for  the  Crown  among  the  Northern  Indians. 
No  time  was  to  be  lost  in  carrying  out  this  plan,  for  at  any  mo- 
ment the  mob  might  attack  Province  Island.  Accordingly,  at 
midnight  of  January  4th,  the  fugitives  set  out  once  more,  pass- 
ed  through  Philadelphia,  undiscovered,  to  the  meeting-house 
of  the  Moravian  Brethren,  where  a  breakfast  had  been  pro- 
vided for  them,  Here  they  were  met  by  the  commissary,  Mr. 
Fox,  who  had  be.en  detailed  by  the  governor  to  take  charge  of 
their  journey.  Mr.  Fox,  heart -stricken  at  their  suffering  ap- 
pearance, immediately  sent  out  and  bought  blankets  to  be  dis- 
tributed among  them,  as  some  protection  against  the  cold. 
Wagons  were  brought  for  the  aged,  sick,  blind,  little  children, 
and  the  heavy  baggage ;  and  again  the  pitiful  procession  took 
up  its  march.  Again  an  angry  mob  gathered  fast  on  its  steps, 
cursing  and  reviling  in  a  terrible  manner,  only  restrained  by 
fear  from  laying  violent  hands  on  them.  Except  for  the  pro- 
tection of  a  military  escort  they  would  scarcely  have  escaped 
murderous  assault. 

At  Amboy  two  sloops  lay  ready  to  transport  them  to  New 
York;  but  just  as  they  reached  this  place,  and  were  preparing 
to  go  on  shore,  a  messenger  arrived  from  the  Governor  of 
New  York  with  angry  orders  that  not  an  Indian  should  set 
foot  in  that  territory.  Even  the  ferry -men  were  forbidden, 
under  heavy  penalties,  to  ferry  one  across  the  river. 

The  commissioner  in  charge  of  them,  in  great  perplexity, 
sent  to  the  Governor  of  Pennsylvania  for  further  orders,  plac- 
ing the  Indians,  meantime,  in  the  Amboy  barracks.  Here  they 
held  their  daily  meetings,  singing  and  praying  with  great  unc- 
tion, un,til  finally  many  of  their  enemies  were  won  to  a  hearty 
respect  and  sympathy  for  them ;  even  soldiers  being  heard  to 
say,  "  Would  to  God  all  the  white  people  were  as  good  Chris- 
tians as  these  Indians.'9 


The  Pennsylvania  governor  had  nothing  left  him  to  do  but 
to  order  the  Indians  back  again,  and,  accordingly,  says  the 
record,  "The  Indian  congregation  set  out  with  cheerfulness 
on  their  return,  in  full  confidence  that  the  Lord  in  his  good 
providence,  for  wise  purposes  best  known  to  himself,  had  or- 
dained their  travelling  thus  to  and  fro.  This  belief  supported 
them  under  all  the  difficulties  they  met  with  in  their  journeys 
made  in  the  severest  part  of  winter." 

They  made  the  return  journey  under  a  large  military  escort, 
one  party  in  advance  and  one  bringing  up  the  rear.  This  es- 
cort was  composed  of  soldiers,  who,  having  just  coine  from  Ni- 
agara, where  they  had  been  engaged  in  many  fights  with  the 
North-western  savages,  were  at  first  disposed  to  treat  these  de- 
fenceless Indians  with  brutal  cruelty ;  but  they  were  soon  dis- 
armed by  the  Indians'  gentle  patience,  and  became  cordial  and 

The  return  journey  was  a  hard  one.  The  aged  and  infirm 
people  had  become  much  weakened  by  their  repeated  hardships, 
and  the  little  children  suffered  pitiably.  In  crossing  some  of 
the  frozen  rivers  the  feeble  ones  were  obliged  to  crawl  on  their 
hands  and  feet  on  the  ice. 

On  the  24th  of  January  they  reached  Philadelphia,  and  were 
at  once  taken  to  the  barracks,  where  almost  immediately  mobs 
began  again  to  molest  and  threaten  them.  The  governor,  thor- 
oughly in  earnest  now,  and  determined  to  sustain  his  own  honor 
and  that  of  the  province,  had  eight  heavy  pieces  of  cannon 
mounted  and  a  rampart  thrown  up  in  front  of  the  barracks. 
The  citizens  were  called  to  arms,  and  so  great  was  the  excite- 
ment that  it  is  said  even  Quakers  took  guns  and  hurried  to  the 
barracks  to  defend  the  Indians ;  and  the  governor  himself  went 
at  midnight  to  visit  them,  and  reassure  them  by  promises  of  pro- 

On  February  4th  news  was  received  that  the  rioters  in  large 
force  were  approaching  the  city.  Hearing  of  the  preparations 


made  to  receive  them,  they  did  not  venture  to  enter.  On  the 
night  of  the  5th,  however,  they  drew  near  again.  The  whole 
city  was  roused,  church -bells  rung,  bonfires  lighted,  cannon 
fired,  the  inhabitants  waked  from  their  sleep  and  ordered  to 
the  town-house,  where  arms  were  given  to  all.  Four  more  can- 
non -were  mounted  at  the  barracks,  and  all  that  day  was  spent 
in  hourly  expectation  of  the  rebels.  But  their  brave  boasts 
were  not  followed  up  by  action.  Seeing  that  the  city  was  in 
arms  against  them,  they  halted.  The  governor  then  sent  a  dele- 
gation of  citizens  to  ask  them  what  they  wanted. 

They  asserted,  insolently,  that  there  were  among  the  Indians 
some  who  had  committed  murders,  and  that  they  must  be  given 
up.  Some  of  the  ringleaders  were  then  taken  into  the  barracks 
and  asked  to  point  out  the  murderers.  Covered  with  confu- 
sion, they  were  obliged  to  admit  they  could  not  accuse  one  In- 
dian there.  They  then  charged  the  Quakers  with  having  taken 
away  six  and  concealed  them.  This  also  was  disproved,  and 
finally  the  excitement  subsided. 

All  through  the  spring  and  summer  the  Indians  remained 
prisoners  in  the  barracks.  Their  situation  became  almost  in- 
supportable from  confinement,  unwholesome  diet,  and  the  men- 
tal depression  inevitable  in  their  state.  To  add  to  their  mis- 
ery small-pox  broke  out  among  them,  and  fifty-six  died  in  the 
course  of  the  summer  from  this  loathsome  disease. 

"We  cannot  describe,"  said  the  missionaries,  "the  joy  and 
fervent  desire  which  most  of  them  showed  in  the  prospect  of 
seeing  their  Saviour  face  to  face.  We  saw  with  amazement  the 
power  of  the  blood  of  Jesus  in  the  hearts  of  poor  sinners." 
This  was,  no  doubt,  true ;  but  there  might  well  have  entered 
into  the  poor,  dying  creatures'  thoughts  an  ecstasy  at  the  mere 
prospect  of  freedom,  after  a  year  of  such  imprisonment  and 

At  last,  on  December  4th,  the  news  of  peace  reached  Phila- 
delphia. On  the  6th  a  proclamation  was  published  in  all  tha 


newspapers  that  war  was  ended  and  hostilities  must  cease.  The 
joy  with  which  the  prisoned  Indians  received  this  news  can 
hardly  be  conceived.  It  "  exceeded  all  descriptions,"  says  the 
record,  and  "  was  manifested  in  thanksgivings  and  praises  to 
the  Lord." 

It  was  still  unsafe,  however,  for  them  to  return  to  their  old 
homes,  which  were  thickly  surrounded  by  white  settlers,  who 
were  no  less  hostile  now  at  heart  than  they  had  been  before  the 
proclamation  of  peace.  It  was  decided,  therefore,  that  they 
should  make  a  new  settlement  in  the  Indian  country  on  the 
Susquehanna  River.  After  a  touching  farewell  to.  their  old 
friends  of  the  Bethlehem  congregation,  and  a  grateful  leave- 
taking  of  the  governor,  who  had  protected  and  supported  them 
for  sixteen  months,  they  set  out  on  the  3d  of  April  for  their 
new  home  in  the  wilderness.  For  the  third  time  their  aged, 
sick,  and  little  children  were  placed  in  overloaded  wagons,  for 
a  long  and  difficult  journey — a  far  harder  one  than  any  they 
had  yet  taken.  The  inhospitalities  of  the  lonely  wilderness 
were  worse  than  the  curses  and  revilings  of  riotous  mobs. 
They  were  overtaken  by  severe  snow-storms.  They  camped 
in  icy  swamps,  shivering  all  night  around  smouldering  fires  of 
wet  wood.  To  avoid  still  hostile  whites  they  had  to  take 
great  circuits  through  unbroken  forests,  where  each  foot  of 
their  path  had  to  be  cut  tree  by  tree.  The  men  waded  streams 
and  made  rafts  for  the  women  and  children.  Sometimes,  when 
the  streams  were  deep,  they  had  to  go  into  camp,  and  wait  till 
canoes  could  be  built.  They  carried  heavy  loads  of  goods  for 
which  there  was  no  room  in  the  wagons.  Going  over  high, 
steep  hills,  they  often  had  to  divide  their  loads  into  small  par- 
cels, thus  doubling  and  trebling  the  road.  Their  provisions 
gave  out.  They  ate  the  bitter  wild  potatoes.  When  the  chil- 
dren cried  with  hunger,  they  peeled  chestnut-trees,  and  gave 
them  the  sweet-juiced  inner  bark  to  suck.  Often  they  had  no 
water  except  that  from  shallow,  muddy  puddles.  Once  they 


were  environed  by  blazing  woods,  whose  fires  burnt  fiercely  for 
hours  around  their  encampment.  Several  of  the  party  died, 
and  were  buried  by  the  way. 

"But  all  these  trials  were  forgotten  in  their  daily  meetings, 
in  which  the  presence  of  the  Lord  was  most  sensibly  and  com- 
fortably felt.  These  were  always  held  in  the  evening,  around 
a  large  fire,  in  the  open  air." 

They  celebrated  a  "joyful  commemoration"  of  Easter,  and 
spent  the  Passion  -  week  "in  blessed  contemplation"  of  the 
sufferings  of  Jean*,  whose  "presence  supported  them  under  all 
afflictions,  insomuch  that  they  never  lost  their  cheerfulness 
and  resignation"  during  the  five  long  weeks  of  this  terrible 

On  the  9th  of  May  they  arrived  at  Machwihilusing,  and 
"  forgot  all  their  pain  and  trouble  for  joy  that  they  had  reach- 
ed the  place  of  their  future  abode.  *  *  *  With  offers  of  praise 
and  thanksgiving,  they  devoted  themselves  anew  to  Him  who 
had  given  them  rest  for  the  soles  of  their  feet." 

"  With  renewed  courage "  they  selected  their  home  on  the 
banks  of  the  Susquehanna,  and  proceeded  to  build  houses. 
They  gave  to  the  settlement  the  name  of  Friedenshutten — a 
name  full  of  significance,  as  coming  from  the  hearts  of  these 
persecuted  wanderers :  Friedenshutten — "  Tents  of  Peace." 

If  all  this  persecution  had  fallen  upon  these  Indians  because 
they  were  Christians,  the  record,  piteous  as  it  is,  would  be  only 
one  out  of  thousands  of  records  of  the  sufferings  of  Christian 
martyrs,  and  would  stir  our  sympathies  less  than  many  another. 
But  this  was  not  the  case.  It  was  simply  because  they  were 
Indians  that  the  people  demanded  their  lives,  and  would  have 
taken  them,  again  and  again,  except  that  all  the  power  of  the 
Government  was  enlisted  for  their  protection.  The  fact  of 
their  being  Christians  did  not  enter  in,  one  way  or  the  other, 
any  more  than  did  the  fact  that  they  were  peaceable.  They 
were  Indians,  and  the  frontiersmen  of  Pennsylvania  intended 


either  to  drive  all  Indians  out  of  their  State  or  kill  them,  just 
as  the  frontiersmen  of  Nebraska  and  of  Colorado  now  intend 
to  do  if  they  can.  We  shall  see  whether  the  United  States 
Government  is  as  strong  to-day  as  the  Government  of  the  Prov- 
ince of  Pennsylvania  was  in  1763 ;  or  whether  it  will  try  first 
(and  fail),  as  John  Penn  did,  to  push  the  helpless,  hunted  creat- 
ures off  somewhere  into  a  temporary  makeshift  of  shelter,  for  a 
temporary  deferring  of  the  trouble  of  protecting  them. 

Sixteen  years  after  the  Conestoga  massacre  came  that  of 
Gnadenhiitten,  the  blackest  crime  on  the  long  list ;  a  massacre 
whose  equal  for  treachery  and  cruelty  cannot  be  pointed  out  in 
the  record  of  massacres  of  whites  by  Indians. 

n. — The  Cfnadenhutten  Massacre. 

In  the  year  1779  the  congregations  of  Moravian  Indians  liv- 
ing at  Gnadenhiitten,  Salem,  and  Schonbrun,  on  the  Muskingum 
River,  were  compelled  by  hostile  Indians  to  forsake  their  vil- 
lages and  go  northward  to  the  Sandusky  Eiver.  This  move- 
ment was  instigated  by  the  English,  who  had  become  sus- 
picious that  the  influence  of  the  Moravian  missionaries  was 
thrown  on  the  side  of  the  colonies,  and  that  their  villages  were 
safe  centres  of  information  and  supplies.  These  Indians  hav- 
ing taken  no  part  whatever  in  the  war,  there  was  no  pretext  for 
open  interference  with  them ;  but  the  English  agents  found  it 
no  difficult  matter  to  stir  up  the  hostile  tribes  to  carry  out 
their  designs.  And  when  the  harassed  congregations  finally 
consented  to  move,  the  savages  who  escorted  them  were  com- 
manded by  English  officers. 

"  The  savages  drove  them  forward  like  cattle,"  says  an  old 
narrative ;  "  the  white  brethren  and  sisters  in  the  midst,  sur- 
rounded by  the  believing  Indians."  "  One  morning,  when  the 
latter  could  not  set  out  as  expeditiously  as  the  savages  thought 
proper,  they  attacked  the  white  brethren,  and  forced  them  to 
set  out  alone,  whipping  their  horses  forward  till  they  grew 


•wild,  and  not  even  allowing  mothers  time  to  suckle  their  chil- 
dren. The  road  was  exceeding  bad,  leading  through  a  contin- 
uance of  swamps.  Sister  Zeisberger  fell  twice  from  her  horse, 
and  once,  hanging  in  the  stirrup,  was  dragged  for  some  time ; 
but  assistance  was  soon  at  hand,  and  the  Lord  preserved  her 
from  harm.  Some  of  the  believing  Indians  followed  them  as 
fast  as  possible,  hut  with  all  their  exertions  did  not  overtake 
them  till  night." 

For  one  month  these  unfortunate  people  journeyed  through 
the  wilds  in  this  way.  When  they  reached  the  Sandusky 
Creek  the  savages  left  them  to  take  care  of  themselves  as  best 
they  might.  They  were  over  a  hundred  miles  from  their 
homes, "  in  a  wilderness  where  there  was  neither  game  nor  pro- 
visions." Here  they  built  huts  of  logs  and  bark.  They  had 
neither  beds  nor  blankets.  In  fact,  the  only  things  which  the 
savages  had  left  them  were  their  utensils  for  making  maple 
sugar.  It  was  the  middle  of  October  when  they  reached  San- 
dusky.  Already  it  was  cold,  and  the  winter  was  drawing  near. 
In  November  Governor  De  Peyster,  the  English  commander  at 
Fort  Detroit,  summoned  the  missionaries  to  appear  before  him 
and  refute  the  accusations  brought  against  their  congregations 
of  having  aided  and  abetted  the  colonies. 

"  The  missionaries  answered  that  they  doubted  not  in  the 
least  but  that  very  evil  reports  must  have  reached  his  ears,  as 
the  treatment  they  had  met  with  had  sufficiently  proved  that 
they  were  considered  as  guilty  persons,  but  that  these  reports 
were  false.  *  *  *  That  Congress,  indeed,  knew  that  they  were 
employed  as  missionaries  to  the  Indians,  and  did  not  disturb 
them  in  their  labors ;  but  had  never  in  anything  given  them 
directions  how  to  proceed." 

The  governor,  convinced  of  the  innocence  and  single-heart- 
edness of  these  noble  men,  publicly  declared  that "  he  felt  great 
satisfaction  in  their  endeavors  to  civilize  and  Christianize  the 
Indians,  and  would  permit  them  to  return  to  their  congrega- 


tions."  He  then  gave  them  passports  for  their  journey  back 
to  Sandusky,  and  appended  a  permission  that  they  should  per- 
form the  functions  of  their  office  among  the  Christian  In- 
dians without  molestation. 

This  left  them  at  rest  so  far  as  apprehensions  of  attack  from 
hostile  Indians  were  concerned;  but  there  still  remained  the 
terrible  apprehension  of  death  by  starvation  and  cold.  Deep 
snows  lay  on  the  ground.  Their  hastily-built  huts  were  so 
small  that  it  was  impossible  to  make  large  fires  in  them.  Their 
floors  being  only  the  bare  earth,  whenever  a  thaw  came  the 
water  forced  itself  up  and  then  froze  again.  Cattle  died  for 
lack  of  food,  and  their  carcasses  were  greedily  devoured ;  nurs- 
ing children  died  for  want  of  nourishment  from  their  starv- 
ing mothers'  breasts ;  the  daily  allowance  of  corn  to  each  adult 
was  one  pint,  and  even  this  pittance  it  was  found  would  not 
last  till  spring. 

Nevertheless,  "  they  celebrated  the  Christmas  holidays  with 
cheerfulness  and  blessing,  and  concluded  this  remarkable  year 
with  thanks  and  praise  to  Him  who  is  ever  the  Saviour  of  his 
people.  But,  having  neither  bread  nor  wine,  they  could  not 
keep  the  communion." 

Meantime  the  com  still  stood  ungathered  in  their  old  fields 
on  the  Muskingum  River.  Weather-beaten,  frozen,  as  it  was, 
it  would  be  still  a  priceless  store  to  these  starving  people.  The 
project  of  going  back  there  after  it  began  to  be  discussed. 
It  was  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  miles'  journey ;  but  food 
in  abundance  lay  at  the  journey's  end.  Finally  it  was  decided 
that  the  attempt  should  be  made.  Their  first  plan  was  to 
hide  their  families  in  the  woods  at  some  distance  from  the 
settlements  lest  there  might  be  some  danger  from  hostile 
whites.  On  their  way,  however,  they  were  met  by  some  of 
their  brethren  from  Schonbrun,  who  advised  them  to  go  hack 
openly  into  their  deserted  towns,  assuring  them  that  the 
Americans  were  friendly  to  them  now.  They  accordingly  did 


so,  and  remained  for  several  weeks  at  Salem  and  Gnadenhiik 
ten,  working  day  and  night  gathering  and  husking  the  weath- 
er-beaten com,  and  burying  it  in  holes  in  the  ground  in  the 
woods  for  future  supply.  On  the  very  day  that  they  were  to 
have  set  off  with  their  packs  of  com,  to  return  to  their  starv- 
ing friends  and  relatives  at  Sandusky,  a  party  of  between  one 
and  two  hundred  whites  made  their  appearance  at  Gnaden- 
hiitten.  Seeing  the  Indians  scattered  all  through  the  corn- 
fields, they  rode  up  to  them,  expressing  pleasure  at  seeing 
them,  and  saying  that  they  would  take  them  into  Pennsyl- 
vania, to  a  place  where  they  would  be  .out  of  all  reach  of  per- 
secution from  the  hostile  savages  or  the  English.  They  repre- 
sented themselves  as  "  friends  and  brothers,  who  had  purpose- 
ly come  out  to  relieve  them  from  the  distress  brought  on  them 
on  account  of  their  being  friends  to  the  American  people. 
*  *  *  The  Christian  Indians,  not  in  the  least  doubting  their 
sincerity,  walked  up  to  them  and  thanked  them  for  being  so 
kind ;  while  the  whites  again  gave  assurances  that  they  would 
meet  with  good  treatment  from  them.  They  then  advised 
them  to  discontinue  their  work  and  cross  over  to  the  town,  in 
order  to  make  necessary  arrangements  for  the  journey,  as  they 
intended  to  take  them  out  of  the  reach  of  their  enemies,  and 
where  they  would  be  supplied  abundantly  with  all  they  stood 
in  need  of." 

They  proposed  to  take  them  to  Pittsburg,  where  they 
would  be  out  of  the  way  of  any  assault  made  by  the  English 
or  the  savages.  This  the  Indians  heard,  one  of  their  mission- 
aries writes,  "  with  resignation,  concluding  that  God  would 
perhaps  choose  this  method  to  put  an  end  to  their  sufferings. 
Prepossessed  with  this  idea,  they  cheerfully  delivered  their 
guns,  hatchets,  and  other  weapons  to  the  murderers,  who  prom- 
ised to  take  good  care  of  them,  and  in  Pittsburg  to  return 
every  article  to  its  rightful  owner.  Our  Indians  even  showed 
them  all  those  things  which  they  had  secreted  in  the  woods, 


assisted  in  packing  them  up,  and  emptied  all  their  "beehives  for 
these  pretended  friends." 

In  the  mean  time  one  of  the  assistants,  John  Martin  by 
name,  went  to  Salem,  ten  miles  distant,  and  carried  the  good 
news  that  a  party  of  whites  had  come  from  the  settlements  to 
carry  them  to  a  place  of  safety  and  give  them  protection. 
"  The  Salem  Indians,"  says  the  same  narrative,  "  did  not  hesi- 
tate to  accept  of  this  proposal,  believing  unanimously  that  God 
had  sent  the  Americans  to  release  them  from  their  disagree- 
able situation  at  Sandusky,  and  imagining  that  when  arrived 
at  Pittsburg  they  might  soon  find  a  safe  place  to  build  a  set- 
tlement, and  easily  procure  advice  and  assistance  from  Beth- 

Some  of  the  whites  expressed  a  desire  to  see  the  village  of 
Salem,  were  conducted  thither,  and  received  with  much  friend- 
ship by  the  Indians.  On  the  way  they  entered  into  spiritual 
conversation  with  their  unsuspecting  companions,  feigning 
great  piety  and  discoursing  on  many  religious  and  scriptural 
subjects.  They  offered  also  to  assist  the  Salem  Indians  in 
moving  their  effects. 

In  the  mean  time  the  defenceless  Indians  at  Gnadenhiitten 
were  suddenly  attacked,  driven  together,  bound  with  ropes, 
and  confined.  As  soon  as  the  Salem  Indians  arrived,  they 
met  with  the  same  fate. 

The  murderers  then  held  a  council  to  decide  what  should 
be  done  with  them.  By  a  majority  of  votes  it  was  decided  to 
kill  them  all  the  next  day.  To  the  credit  of  humanity  be  it 
recorded,  that  there  were  in  this  band  a  few  who  remonstrated, 
declared  that  these  Indians  were  innocent  and  harmless,  and 
should  be  set  at  liberty,  or,  at  least,  given  up  to  the  Govern- 
ment as  prisoners.  Their  remonstrances  were  unavailing,  and, 
finding  that  they  could  not  prevail  on  these  monsters  to  spare 
the  Indians'  lives,  "they  wrung  their  hands,  calling  God  to 
witness  that  they  were  innocent  of  the  blood  of  these  Chris- 



tian  Indians.    They  then  withdrew  to  some  distance  from  the 
scene  of  slaughter." 

The  majority  were  unmoved,  and  only  disagreed  as  to  the 
method  of  putting  their  victims  to  death.  Some  were  for 
"burning  tliem  alive;  others  for  tomahawking  and  scalping 
them.  The  latter  method  was  determined  on,  and  a  message 
was  sent  to  the  Indians  that,  "as  they  were  Christian  Indians, 
they  might  prepare  themselves  in  a  Christian  manner,  for  they 
must  all  die  to-morrow." 

The  rest  of  the  narrative  is  best  told  in  the  words  of  the 
Moravian  missionaries :  "  It  may  be  easily  conceived  how  great 
their  terror  was  at  hearing  a  sentence  so  unexpected.  How- 
ever, they  soon  recollected  themselves,  and  patiently  suffered 
the  murderers  to  lead  them  into  two  houses,  in  one  of  which 
the  brethren  were  confined  and  in  the  other  the  sisters  and 
children.  *  *  *  Finding  that  all  entreaties  to  save  their  lives 
were  to  no  purpose,  and  that  some,  more  blood-thirsty  than 
others,  were  anxious  to  begin  upon  them,  they  united  in  beg- 
ging a  short  delay,  that  they  might  prepare  themselves  for 
death,  which  request  was  granted  them.  Then  asking  pardon 
for  whatever  offence  they  had  given,  or  grief  they  had  occa- 
sioned to  each  other,  they  knelt  down,  offering  fervent  prayers 
to  God  their  Saviour  and  kissing  one  another.  Under  a  flood 
of  tears,  fully  resigned  to  his  will,  they  sung  praises  unto  him, 
in  the  joyful  hope  that  they  would  soon  be  relieved  from 
all  pains  and  join  their  Redeemer  in  everlasting  bliss.  *  *  * 
The  murderers,  impatient  to  make  a  beginning,  came  again 
to  them  while  they  were  singing,  and,  inquiring  whether  they 
were  now  ready  for  dying,  they  were  answered  in  the  affirma- 
tive, adding  that  they  had  commended  their  immortal  souls  to 
God,  who  had  given  them  the  assurance  in  their  hearts  that  he 
would  receive  their  souls.  One  of  the  party,  now  taking  up 
a  cooper's  mallet  which  lay  in  the  house,  saying,  '  How  exactly 
this  will  answer  for  the  purpose/  began  with  Abraham,  and 


continued  knocking  down  one"  after  another  until  be  counted 
fourteen  that  he  had  killed  with  bis  own  bands.  He  now 
handed  the  instrument  to  one  of  his  fellow-murderers,  saying  : 
'  My  arm  fails  me.  Go  on  in  the  same  way.  I  think  I  have 
done  pretty  well/  In  another  house,  where  mostly  women 
and  children  were  confined,  Judith,  a  remarkably  pious  aged 
widow,  was  the  first  victim.  After  they  had  finished  the  hor- 
rid deed  they  retreated  to  a  small  distance  from  the  slaughter- 
houses ;  but,  after  a  while,  returning  again  to  view  the  dead 
bodies,  and  finding  one  of  them  (Abel),  although  scalped  and 
mangled,  attempting  to  raise  himself  from  the  floor,  they  so 
renewed  their  blows  upon  him  that  he  never  rose  again.  *  *  * 
Thus  ninety-six  persons  magnified  the  name  of  the  Lord  by 
patiently  meeting  a  cruel  death.  Sixty-two  were  grown  per- 
sons and  thirty-four  children.  Many  of  them  were  born  of 
Christian  parents  in  the  society,  and  were  among  those  who  in 
the  year  1763  were  taken  under  the  protection  of  the  Penn- 
sylvania Government  at  the  time  of  the  riots  of  the  Paxton 
Boys.  *  *  *  Two  boys,  about  fourteen  years  of  age,  almost 
miraculously  escaped  from  this  massacre.  One  of  them  was 
scalped  and  thrown  down  for  dead.  Eecovering  himself,  he 
looked  around ;  but,  with  great  presence  of  mind,  lay  down 
again  quickly,  feigning  death.  In  a  few  moments  he  saw  the 
murderers  return,  and  again  bury  their  hatchets  in  the  head  of 
Abel,  who  was  attempting  to  rise,  though  scalped  and  terribly 
mangled.  As  soon  as  it  was  dark,  Thomas  crept  over  the  dead 
bodies  and  escaped  to  the  woods,  where  he  hid  himself  till  night. 
The  other  lad,  who  was  confined  in  the  house  with  the  women, 
contrived  unnoticed  to  slip  through  a  trap-door  into  the  cellar, 
where  he  lay  concealed  through  the  day,  the  blood  all  the 
while  running  down  through  the  floor  in  streams.  At  dark 
he  escaped  through  a  small  window  and  crept  to  the  woods, 
where  he  encountered  Thomas,  and  the  two  made  their  way  to- 
gether, after  incredible  hardships,  to  Sandusky.  To  describe  the 


grief  and  terror  of  the  Indian  congregation  on  hearing  that  so 
large  a  number  of  its  members  was  so  cruelly  massacred  is  im- 
possible. Parents  wept  and  mourned  for  the  loss  of  their  chil- 
dren, husbands  for  their  wives,  and  wives  for  their  husbands, 
children  for  their  parents,  sisters  for  brothers,  and  brothers  for 
sisters,  But  they  murmured  not,  nor  did  they  call  for  ven- 
geance on  the  murderers,  but  prayed  for  them.  And  their 
greatest  consolation  was  a  full  assurance  that  all  their  beloved 
relatives  were  now  at  home  in  the  presence  of  the  Lord,  and  in 
full  possession  of  everlasting  happiness." 

An  account  of  this  massacre  was  given  in  the  Pennsylvania 
Gazette,  of  April  17th,  1782.  It  runs  as  follows  : 

"  The  people  being  greatly  alarmed,  and  having  received  in- 
telligence that  the  Indian  towns  on  the  Muskingum  had  not 
moved,  as  reported,  a  number  of  men,  properly  provided,  col- 
lected and  rendezvoused  on  the  Ohio,  opposite  the  Mingo  Bot- 
tom, with  a  desire  to  surprise  the  above  towns. 

"  One  hundred  men  swam  the  river,  and  proceeded  to  the 
towns  on  the  Muskingum,  where  the  Indians  had  collected  a 
large  quantity  of  provisions  to  supply  their  war-parties.  They 
arrived  at  the  town  in  the  night,  undiscovered,  attacked  the  In- 
dians in  their  cabins,  and  so  completely  surprised  them  that 
they  killed  and  scalped  upward  of  ninety—but  a  few  making 
their  escape — about  forty  of  whom  were  warriors,  the  rest  old 
women  and  children.  About  eighty  horses  fell  into  their  hands, 
which  they  loaded  with  the  plunder,  the  greatest  part  furs  and 
skins,  and  returned  to  the  Ohio  without  the  loss  of  a  man." 

III. — Massacres  of  Apaches. 

In  less  than  one  hundred  years  from  this  Gnadenhutten  mas- 
sacre an  officer  of  the  'United  States  Army,  stationed  at  Camp 
Grant,  in  Arizona  Territory,  writes  to  his  commanding  officer  the 
following  letter : 


"Camp  Grant,  Arizona  Territory,  May  17th,  1871.. 

"  DEAR  COLONEL, — Thanks  for  your  kind  letter  of  last  week. 
If  I  could  see  you  and  have  a  long  talk,  and  answer  all  your 
questions,  I  could  come  nearer  giving  you  a  clear  idea  of  the 
history  of  the  Indians  at  this  post  than  by  any  written  account. 
Having  had  them  constantly  under  my  observation  for  nearly 
three  months,  and  the  care  of  them  constantly  on  my  mind, 
certain  things  have  become  so  much  a  matter  of  certainty  to 
me  that  I  am  liable  to  forget  the  amount  of  evidence  neces- 
sary to  convince  even  the  most  unprejudiced  mind  that  has  not 
been  brought  in  contact  with  them.  I  will,  however,  try  and 
give  you  a  connected  account,  and  if  it  proves  not  sufficiently 
full  in  detail,  you  may  be  sure  all  its  positive  statements  will 
be  sustained  by  the  testimony  of  all  competent  judges  who 
have  been  at  this  post  and  cognizant  of  the  facts. 

"Sometime  in  February  a  party  of  five  old  women  came 
in  under  a  flag  of  truce,  with  a  letter  from  Colonel  Greene, 
saying  they  were  in  search  of  a  boy,  the  son  of  one  of  the 
number  taken  prisoner  near  Salt  River  some  months  before. 
This  boy  had  been  well  cared  for,  and  had  become  attached  to 
his  new  mode  of  life,  and  did  not  wish  to  return.  The  party 
were  kindly  treated,  rationed  while  here,  and  after  two  days 
went  away,  asking  permission  to  return.  They  came  in  about 
eight  days,  I  think,  with  a  still  larger  number,  with  some  arti- 
cles for  sale,  to  purchase  manta,  as  they  were  nearly  naked. 
Before  going  away  they  said  a  young  chief  would  like  to  come 
in  with  a  party  and  have  a  talk.  This  I  encouraged,  and  in  a 
few  days  he  came  with  about  twenty-five  of  his  band.  He 
stated  in  brief  that  he  was  chief  of  a  band  of  about  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  of  what  were  originally  the  Aravapa  Apaches ; 
that  he  wanted  peace ;  that  he  and  his  people  had  no  home, 
and  could  make  none,  as  they  were  at  all  times  apprehensive 
of  the  approach  of  the  cavalry.  I  told  him  he  should  go  to 
the  White  Mountains.  He  said,  'That  is  not  our  country,  nei- 


ther  are  they  our  people.  We  are  at  peace  with  them,  but  never 
have  mixed  with  them.  Our  fathers  and  their  fathers  before 
them  have  lived  in  these  mountains,  and  have  raised  corn  in 
this  valley.  We  are  taught  to  make  mescal,  our  principal  arti- 
cle of  food,  and  in  summer  and  winter  here  we  have  a  never- 
failing  supply,  At  the  White  Mountains  there  is  none,  and 
without  it  now  we  get  sick.  Some  of  our  people  have  been 
in  at  Goodwin,  and  for  a  short  time  at  the  White  Mountains ; 
but  they  are  not  contented,  and  they  all  say,  "  Let  us  go  to  the 
Aiavapa  and  make  a  final  peace,  and  never  break  it." ' 

"  I  told  him  I  had  no  authority  to  make  any  treaty  with  him, 
or  to  promise  him  that  he  would  be  allowed  a  permanent  home 
here,  but  that  he  could  bring  in  his  band,  and  I  would  feed 
them,  and  report  his  wishes  to  the  Department  commander. 
In  the  mean  time  runners  had  been  in  from  two  other  small 
bands,  asking  the  same  privileges  and  giving  the  same  reasons. 
I  made  the  same  reply  to  all,  and  by  about  the  llth  of  March 
I  had  over  three  hundred  here.  I  wrote  a  detailed  account 
of  the  \vhole  matter,  and  sent  it  by  express  to  Department 
Head-quarters,  asking  for  instructions,  having  only  the  general 
policy  of  the  Government  in  such  cases  for  my  guidance.  Af- 
ter waiting  more  than  six  weeks  my  letter  was  returned  to 
me  without  comment,  except  calling  my  attention  to  the  fact 
that  it  was  not  briefed  properly.  At  first  I  put  them  in  camp, 
about  half  a  mile  from  the  post,  and  counted  them,  and  issued 
their  rations  every  second  day.  The  number  steadily  increased 
until  it  reached  the  number  of  five  hundred  and  ten, 

"  Knowing,  as  I  did,  that  the  responsibility  of  the  whole 
movement  rested  with  me,  and  that,  in  case  of  any  loss  to  the 
Government  coming  of  it,  I  should  be  the  sufferer,  I  kept  them  . 
continually  under  my  observation  till  I  came  not  only  to  know 
the  faces  of  the  men,  but  of  the  women  and  children.  They 
were  nearly  naked,  and  needed  everything  in  the  way  of  cloth- 
ing. I  stopped  the  Indians  from  bringing  hay,  that  I  might 


buy  of  these.  I  arranged  a  system  of  tickets  with  which  to  pay 
them  and  encourage  them  j  and  to  be  sure  that  they  were  prop- 
erly treated,  I  personally  attended  to  the  weighing.  I  also 
made  inquiries  as  to  the  kind  of  goods  sold  them,  and  prices. 
This  proved  a  perfect  success ;  not  only  the  women  and  children 
engaged  in  the  work,  but  the  men.  The  amount  furnished  by 
them  in  about  two  months  was  nearly  300,000  pounds. 

"During  this  time  many  small  parties  had  been  out  with 
passes  for  a  certain  number  of  days  to  burn  mescal.  These  parties 
were  always  mostly  women,  and  I  made  myself  sure  by  noting 
the  size  of  the  party,  and  from  the  amount  of  mescal  brought 
in,  that  no  treachery  was  intended.  From  the  first  I  was  deter- 
mined to  know  not  only  all  they  did,  but  their  hopes  and  in- 
tentions. For  this  purpose  I  spent  hours  each  day  with  them 
in  explaining  to  them  the  relations  they  should  sustain  to  the 
Government,  and  their  prospects  for  the  future  in  case  of  either 
obedience  or  disobedience.  I  got  from  them  in  return  much 
of  their  habits  of  thought  and  rules  of  action.  I  made  it  a 
point  to  tell  them  all  they  wished  to  know,  and  in  the  plainest 
and  most  positive  manner.  They  were  readily  obedient,  and  re- 
markably quick  of  comprehension.  They  were  happy  and  con- 
tented, and  took  every  opportunity  to  show  it.  They  had  sent 
out  runners  to  two  other  bands  which  were  connected  with  them 
by  intermarriages,  and  had  received  promises  from  them  that 
they  would  come  in  and  join  them.  I  am  confident,  from  all  I 
have  been  able  to  learn,  that  but  for  this  unlooked-for  butchery, 
by  this  time  we  would  have  had  one  thousand  persons,  and  at 
least  two  hundred  and  fifty  able-bodied  men.  As  their  num- 
ber increased  and  the  weather  grew  warmer,  they  asked  and  ob- 
tained permission  to  move  farther  up  the  Aravapa  to  higher 
ground  and  plenty  of  water,  and  opposite  to  the  ground  they 
were  proposing  to  plant.  They  were  rationed  every  third  day. 
Captain  Stanwood  arrived  about  the  first  of  April,  and  took 
command  of  the  post.  He  had  received,  while  en  route,  verbal 


instructions  from  General  Stoneman  to  recognize  and  feed  any 
Indians  he  might  find  at  the  post  as  prisoners  of  war.  Aftei 
he  had  carefully  inspected  all  things  pertaining  to  their  conduct 
and  treatment,  he  concluded  to  make  no  changes,  hut  had  be- 
come so  veil  satisfied  of  the  integrity  of  their  intentions  that 
he  left  on  the  24th  with  his  whole  troop  for  a  long  scout  in 
the  lower  part  of  the  Territory.  The  ranchmen  in  this  vicinity 
were  friendly  and  kind  to  them,  and  felt  perfectly  secure,  and 
had  agreed  with  me  to  employ  them  at  a  fair  rate  of  pay  to 
harvest  their  barley.  The  Indians  seemed  to  have  lost  their 
characteristic  anxiety  to  purchase  ammunition,  and  had,  in  many 
instances,  sold  their  best  bows  and  arrows. '  I  made  frequent 
visits  to  their  camp,  and  if  any  were  absent  from  count,  made 
it  my  business  to  know  why. 

"  Such  was  the  condition  of  things  up  to  the  morning  of  the 
30th  of  April.  They  had  so  won  on  me  that,  from  my  first 
idea  of  treating  them  justly  and  honestly,  as  an  officer  of  the 
army,  I  had  come  to  feel  a  strong  personal  interest  in  helping 
to  show  them  the  way  to  a  higher  civilization.  I  had  come 
to  feel  respect  for  men  who,  ignorant  and  naked,  were  still 
ashamed  to  lie  or  steal  \  and  fdr  women  who  would  work  cheer- 
fully like  slaves  to  clothe  themselves  and  children,  but,  untaught, 
held  their  virtue  above  price.  Aware  of  the  lies  industriously 
circulated  by  the  puerile  press  of  the  country,  I  was  content 
to  know  I  had  positive  proof  they  were  so. 

"  I  had  ceased  to  have  any  fears  of  their  leaving  here,  and 
only  dreaded  for  them  that  they  might  be  at  any  time  ordered 
to  do  so.  They  frequently  expressed  anxiety  to  hear  from  the 
general,  that  they  might  have  confidence  to  build  for  themselves 
better  houses ;  but  would  always  say,  'You  know  what  we  want, 
and  if  you  can't  see  him  you  can  write,  and  do  for  us  what  you 
can/  It  is  possible  that,  during  this  time,  individuals  from  here 
had  visited  other  bands  \  but  that  any  number  had  ever  been 
out  to  assist  in  any  marauding  expedition  I  know  is  false.  Ox 


the  morning  of  April  30th  I  was  at  breakfast  at  7.30  o'clock, 
when  a  despatch  was  brought  to  me  by  a  sergeant  of  Company 
P,  21st  Infantry,  from  Captain  Penn,  commanding  Camp  Low- 
ell, informing  me  that  a  large  party  had  left  Tucson  on  the  28th 
with  the  avowed  purpose  of  killing  all  the  Indians  at  this  post. 
I  immediately  sent  the  two  interpreters,  mounted,  to  the  Indian 
camp,  with  orders  to  tell  the  chiefs  the  exact  state  of  things, 
and  for  them  to  bring  their  entire  party  inside  the  post.  As  I 
had  no  cavalry,  and  but  about  fifty  infantry  (all  recruits),  and 
no  other  officer,  I  could  not  leave  the  post  .to  go  to  their  de- 
fence. My  messengers  returned  in  about  an  hour  with  intelli- 
gence that  they  could  find  no  living  Indians. 

"Their  camp  was  burning,  and  the  ground  strewed  with  their 
dead  and  mutilated  women  and  children.  I  immediately  mount- 
ed a  party  of  about  twenty  soldiers  and  citizens,  and  sent  them 
with  the  post  surgeon  with  a  wagon  to  bring  in  the  wounded, 
if  any  could  be  found.  The  party  returned  late  in  the  after- 
noon, having  found  no  wounded,  and  without  having  been  able 
to  communicate  with  any  of  the  survivors.  Early  the  next 
morning  I  took  a  similar  party  with  spades  and  shovels,  and 
went  out  and  buried  the  dead  immediately  in  and  about  the 
camp.  I  had,  the  day  before,  offered  the  interpreters,  or  any 
one  who  would  do  so,  $100  to  go  to  the  mountains  and  com- 
municate with  them,  and  convince  them  that  no  officer  or  sol- 
dier of  the  United  States  Government  had  been  concerned  in 
the  vile  transaction  j  and,  failing  in  this,  I  thought  the  act  of 
caring  for  their  dead  would  be  an  evidence  to  them  of  our  sym- 
pathy, at  least,  and  the  conjecture  proved  correct ;  for  while 
we  were  at  the  work,  many  of  them  came  to  the  spot  and 
indulged  in  expressions  of  grief  too  wild  and  terrible  to  be 

"  That  evening  they  began  to  come  in  from  all  directions,  sin- 
gly and  in  small  parties,  so  changed  as  hardly  to  be  recognizable 
in  the  forty-eight  hours  during  which  they  had  neither  eaten 


nor  slept.  Many  of  the  men,  whose  families  had  all  been  killed, 
when  I  spoke  to  them  and  expressed  sympathy  for  them,  were 
obliged  to  turn  away,  unable  to  speak,  and  too  proud  to  show 
their  grief.  The  women  whose  children  had  been  killed  or 
stolen  were  convulsed  with  grief,  and  looked  to  me  appealingly, 
as  if  I  were  their  last  hope  on  earth.  Children,  who  two  days 
before  had  been  full  of  frolic,  kept  at  a  distance,  expressing 
wondering  horror. 

u  I  did  what  I  could  :  I  fed  them,  talked  to  them,  and  lis- 
tened patiently  to  their  accounts.  I  sent  horses  to  the  moun- 
tains to  bring  in  two  badly  wounded  women,  one  shot  through 
the  left  leg,  one  with  an  arm  shattered.  These  were  attended 
to,  and  are  doing  well,  and  will  recover. 

"Theii  camp  was  surrounded  and  attacked  at  daybreak. 
So  sudden  and  unexpected  was  it,  that  I  found  a  number  of 
women  shot  while  asleep  beside  their  bundles  of  hay,  which 
they  had  collected  to  bring  in  on  that  morning.  The  wounded 
who  were  unable  to  get  away  had  their  brains  beaten  out 
with  clubs  or  stones,  while  some  were  shot  full  of  arrows  after 
having  been  mortally  wounded  by  gun-shots.  The  bodies  were 
all  stripped.  Of  the  number  buried,  one  was  an  old  man,  and 
one  was  a  well-grown  boy ;  all  the  rest  women  and  children. 
Of  the  whole  number  killed  and  missing — about  one  hundred 
and  twenty-five — only  eight  were  men.  It  has  been  said  that 
the  men  were  not  there :  they  were  all  there.  On  the  28th 
we  counted  one  hundred  and  twenty-eight  men,  a  small  num- 
ber being  absent  for  mescal,  all  of  whom  have  since  been  in. 
I  have  spent  a  good  deal  of  time  with  them  since  the  affair, 
and  have  been  astonished  at  their  continued  unshaken  faith  in 
me,  and  their  perfectly  clear  understanding  of  their  misfor- 
tune. They  say, '  We  know  there  are  a  great  many  white  men 
and  Mexicans  who  do  not  wish  us  to  live  at  peace.  "We  know 
that  the  Papagos  would  never  have  come  out  against  us  at 
this  time  unless  they  had  been  persuaded  to  do  so.1  What 


they  do  not  understand  is,  while  they  are  at  peace  and  are 
conscious  of  no  wrong  intent,  that  they  should  be  murdered. 

"  One  of  the  chiefs  said  :  *  I  no  longer  want  to  live ;  my 
women  and  children  have  been  killed  before  my  face,  and  I 
have  been  unable  to  defend  them.  Most  Indians  in  my  place 
would  take  a  knife  and  cut  their  throats;  but  I  will  live 
to  show  these  people  that  all  they  have  done,  and  all  they 
can  do,  shall  not  make  me  break  faith  with  you  so  long  aa 
you  will  stand  by  us  and  defend  us,  in  a  language  we  know 
nothing  of,  to  a  great  governor  we  never  have  and  never  shall 

"  About  their  captives  they  say :  *  Get  them  back  for  us. 
Our  little  boys  will  grow  up  slaves,  and  our  girls,  as  soon  as 
they  are  large  enough,  will  be  diseased  prostitutes,  to  get 
money  for  whoever  owns  them.  Our  women  work  hard,  and 
are  good  women,  and  they  and  our  children  have  no  diseases. 
Our  dead  you  cannot  bring  to  life ;  but  those  that  are  living 
we  gave  to  you,  and  we  look  to  you,  who  can  write  and  talk 
and  have  soldiers,  to  get  them  back.' 

"  I  assure  you  it  is  no  easy  task  to  convince  them  of  my 
zeal  when  they  see  so  little  being  done.  I  have  pledged  my 
word  to  them  that  I  never  would  rest,  day  or  night,  until  they 
should  have  justice,  and  just  now  I  would  as  soon  leave  the 
army  as  to  be  ordered  away  from  them,  or  be  obliged  to  order 
them  away  from  here.  But  you  well  know  the  difficulties  in 
the  way.  You  know  that  parties  who  would  engage  in  murder 
like  this  could  and  would  make  statements  and  multiply  affi- 
davits without  end  in  their  justification.  I  know  you  will  use 
your  influence  on  the  right  side.  I  believe,  with  them,  this 
may  be  made  either  a  means  of  making  good  citizens  of  them 
and  their  children,  or  of  driving  them  out  to  a  hopeless  war  of 
extermination.  They  ask  to  be  allowed  to  live  here  in  their 
old  homes,  where  nature  supplies  nearly  all  their  wants.  They 
ask  for  a  fair  and  impartial  trial  of  their  faith,  and  they  ask 


that  all  their  captive  childen  may  be  returned  to  them.    la 
their  demand  unreasonable  ] " 

This  letter  was  written  to  Colonel  T.  G.  C.  Lee,  U.S.A.,  by 
Lieut.  Eoyal  E.  Whitman,  3d  U.S.  Cavalry.  It  is  published 
in  the  Report  of  the  Board  of  Indian  Commissioners  for  1871. 
There  is  appended  to  it  the  following  affidavit  of  the  post 
surgeon  at  Camp  Grant : 

"On  this  16th  day  of  September,  1871,  personally  appeared 
Conant  B.  Erierley,  who,  being  duly  sworn  according  to  law, 
deposeth  and  saith :  c  I  am  acting-assistant  surgeon,  U.S.A., 
at  Camp  Grant,  Arizona,  where  I  arrived  April  25th,  1871,  and 
reported  to  the  commanding  officer  for  duty  as  medical  officer. 
Some  four  hundred  Apache  Indians  were  at  that  time  held  as 
prisoners  of  war  by  the  military  stationed  at  Camp  Grant,  and 
during  the  period  intervening  between  April  25th  and  30th  I 
saw  the  Indians  every  day.  They  seemed  very  well  contented, 
and  were  "busily  employed  in  bringing  in  hay,  which  they  sold 
for  manta  and  such  little  articles  as  they  desired  outside  the 
Government  ration,  April  29th  Chiquita  and  some  of  the 
other  chiefs  were  at  the  post,  and  asked  for  seeds  and  for  some 
hoes,  stating  that  they  had  ground  cleared  and  ready  for  plant- 
ing. They  were  told  that  the  garden-seeds  had  been  sent  for, 
and  would  be  up  from  Tucson  in  a  few  days.  They  then  left, 
and  I  saw  nothing  more  of  them  until  after  the  killing. 

" '  Sunday  morning  I  heard  a  rumor  that  the  Indians  had 
been  attacked,  and  learned  from  Lieutenant  Whitman  that  he 
had  sent  the  two  interpreters  to  the  Indian  camp  to  warn  the 
Indians,  and  bring  them  down  where  they  could  be  protected, 
if  possible.  Tha  interpreters  returned  and  stated  that  the  at- 
tack had  already  been  made  and  the  Indians  dispersed,  and 
that  the  attacking  party  were  returning. 

" '  Lieutenant  Whitman  then  ordered  me  to  go  to  the  Indian 
camp  to  render  medical  assistance,  and  bring  down  any  wound- 
ed I  might  find.  I  took  twelve  men  and  a  wagon,  and  pro- 


Deeded  without  delay  to  the  scene  of  the  murder.  On  my  ar- 
rival I  found  that  I  should  have  but  little  use  for  the  wagon 
or  medicine.  The  work  had  been  too  thoroughly  done.  The 
camp  had  been  fired,  and  the  dead  bodies  of  twenty-one  wo- 
men and  children  were  lying  scattered  over  the  ground  j  those 
who  had  been  wounded  in  the  first  instance  had  their  brains 
beaten  out  with  stones.  Two  of  the  squaws  had  been  first  rav- 
ished, and  then  shot  dead.  One  infant  of  some  two  months 
was  shot  twice,  and  one  leg  nearly  hacked  off.  *  *  *  I  know 
from  my  own  personal  observations  that,  during  the  time  the 
Indians  were  in,  after  my  arrival,  they  were  rationed  every 
three  days,  and  Indians  absent  had  to  be  accounted  for ;  their 
faces  soon  became  familiar  to  me,  and  I  could  at  once  tell  when 
any  strange  Indian  came  in. 

"*  And  I  furthermore  state  that  I  have  been  among  nearly 
all  the  tribes  on  the  Pacific  coast,  and  that  I  have  never  seen 
any  Indians  who  showed  the  intelligence,  honesty,  and  desire 
to  learn  manifested  by  these  Indians.  I  came  among  them 
greatly  prejudiced  against  them;  but,  after  being  with  them,  I 
was  compelled  to  admit  that  they  were  honest  in  their  inten- 
tions, and  really  desired  peace. 

" « C.  B.  BEIEBLEY, 
" '  Acting  Assistant  Surgeon,  U.  S. A.'  * 

This  is  not  the  only  instance  of  cruel  outrage  committed  by 
white  men  on  the  Apaches.  In  the  Eeport  of  the  Board  of 
Indian  Commissioners  for  1871  is  the  following  letter  from 
one  of  the  Arizona  pioneers,  Mr.  J.  H.  Lyman,  of  Northamp- 
ton, Mass.  Mr.  Lyman  spent  the  years  of  1840-'41  among  the 
Apaches,  and  thus  briefly  relates  an  occurrence  which  took 
place  at  a  time  when  they  were  friendly  and  cordial  to  all 
Americans  going  among  them : 

"The  Indians  were  then,  as  now,  hostile  to  the  Mexicans  of 
Sonora,  and  they  were  constantly  making  raids  into  the  State 


and  driving  off  the  cattle.  The  Mexicans  feared  them,  and 
were  unable  to  meet  them  man  to  man.  At  that  time  Ameri- 
can trappers  found  the  beaver  very  abundant  about  the  head- 
waters of  the  Gila  River,  among  those  rich  mountain  valleys 
where  the  Apaches  had,  and  still  have,  their  secure  retreats. 
At  the  tune  I  speak  of  there  wore  two  companies  of  trappers 
in  that  region.  One  of  the  companies,  about  seventeen  men, 
was  under  a  captain  named  Johnson.  The  other  company  con- 
sisted of  thirty  men,  I  think.  I  was  trapping  on  another  head 
of  the  Gila,  several  miles  north.  The  valleys  were  full  of 
Apaches,  but  all  peaceful  toward  the  white  men,  both  Indians 
and  whites  visiting  each  other's  camps  constantly  and  fear- 
lessly, with  no  thought  of  treachery  or  evil.  Besides  the 
Mexicans,  the  only  enemies  of  the  Apaches  were  the  Piutes 
and  Navajoes,  in  the  north-west.  But  here  in  their  fastnesses 
they  felt  safe  from  all  foes. 

"  One  day  Johnson  concluded  to  go  down  into  Sonora  on 
a  spree,  as  was  occasionally  the  way  with  mountain-men.  He 
there  saw  the  Governor  of  Sonora,  who,  knowing  that  he  had 
the  confidence  of  the  Indians,  offered  him  an  ounce  of  gold 
for  every  Apache  scalp  he  would  bring  him.  The  bargain  was 
struck.  Johnson  procured  a  small  mountain  howitzer,  and  then, 
with  supplies  for  his  party,  returned  to  his  camp.  Previous  to 
entering  it  he  loaded  his  howitzer  with  a  quantity  of  bullets. 
On  approaching  the  valley  he  was  met  by  the  Indians,  who 
joyfully  welcomed  him  back,  and  proceeded  at  once  to  prepare 
the  usual  feast.  While  they  were  boiling  and  roasting  their 
venison  and  bear  meat,  and  were  gathered  in  a  small  group 
around  the  fire,  laughing  and  chatting  in  anticipation  of  the 
pleasure  they  expected  in  entertaining  their  guests,  Johnson 
told  those  of  his  party  who  had  remained  behind  of  the  offer 
of  the  governor,  and  with  such  details  of  temptation  as  easily 
overcame  any  scruples  such  men  might  have. 

"As  they  were  all  armed  with  rifles,  which  were  always  in 


hand  day  and  night,  together  with  pistols  in  belt,  they  needed 
no  preparation.  The  howitzer,  which  the  Indians  might  have 
supposed  to  be  a  small  keg  of  whiskey,  was  placed  on  the 
ground  and  pointed  at  the  group  of  warriors,  squaws,  and  little 
children  round  the  fire,  watching  the  roasting  meal. 

"  While  they  were  thus  engaged,  with  hearts  full  of  kindly 
feelings  toward  their  white  friends,  Johnson  gave  the  signal. 
The  howitzer  was  discharged,  sending  its  load  of  bullets  scat- 
tering and  tearing  through  the  mass  of  miserable  human  be- 
ings, and  nearly  all  who  were  not  stricken  down  were  shot  by 
the  rifles.  A  very  few  succeeded  in  escaping  into  the  ravine, 
and  fled  over  the  dividing  ridge  into  the  northern  valleys, 
where  they  met  others  of  their  tribe,  to  whom  they  told  the 
horrible  story. 

"  The  Apaches  at  once  showed  that  they  could  imitate  their 
more  civilized  brothers.  Immediately  a  band  of  them  went  in 
search  of  the  other  company  of  trappers,  who,  of  course,  were 
utterly  unconscious  of  Johnson's  infernal  work.  They  were 
attacked,  unprepared,  and  nearly  all  killed  \  and  then  the  story 
that  the  Apaches  were  treacherous  and  cruel  went  forth  into 
all  the  land,  but  nothing  of  the  wrongs  they  had  received." 

Is  it  to  be  wondered  at  that  the  Apaches  became  one  of  the 
most  hostile  and  dangerous  tribes  on  the  Pacific  coast  ? 

These  are  but  four  massacres  out  of  scores,  whose  history,  if 
written,  would  prove  as  clearly  as  do  these,  that,  hi  the  long 
contest  between  white  men  and  Indians,  the  Indian  h«s  not 
always  been  the  aggressor,  and  that  treachery  and  crue?  y  are 
by  no  means  exclusively  Indian  traits. 




THEBI  are  within  the  limits  of  the  United  States  between 
two  hundred  and  fifty  and"  three  hundred  thousand  Indians, 
exclusive  of  those  in  Alaska.  The  names  of  the  different 
tribes  and  bands,  as  entered  in  the  statistical  tables  of  the  In- 
<lian  Office  Eeports,  number  nearly  three  hundred.  One  of  the 
most  careful  estimates  which  have  been  made  of  their  numbers 
and  localities  gives  them  as  follows  :  "  In  Minnesota  and  States 
east  of  the  Mississippi,  about  32,500 ;  in  Nebraska,  Kansas, 
and  the  Indian  Territory,  70,650 ;  in  the  Territories  of  Da- 
kota, Montana,  Wyoming,  and  Idaho,  65,000  j  in  Nevada  and 
the  Territories  of  Colorado,  New  Mexico,  Utah,  and  Arizona, 
84,000 ;  and  on  the  Pacific  slope,  48,000." 

Of  these,  130,000  are  self-supporting  on  their  own  reserva- 
tions, "receiving  nothing  from  the  Government  except  interest 
on  their  own  moneys,  or  annuities  granted  them  in  considera- 
tion of  the  cession  of  their  lands  to  the  United  States."  * 

This  fact  alone  would  seem  sufficient  to  dispose  forever  of 
the  accusation,  so  persistently  brought  against  the  Indian,  that 
he  will  not  work. 

Of  the  remainder,  84,000  are  partially  supported  by  the 
Government — the  interest  money  due  them  and  their  annui- 
ties, as  provided  by  treaty,  being  inadequate  to  their  subsist- 
ence on  the  reservations  where  they  are  confined.  In  many 
cases,  however,  these  Indians  furnish  a  large  part  of  their  sup- 

*  Annual  Report  of  Indian  Commissioner  for  1872. 


port — the  White  Kiver  TJtes,  for  instance,  who  are  reported  by 
the  Indian  Bureau  as  getting  sixty-six  per  cent,  of  their  living 
by  "root-digging,  hunting,  and  fishing;"  the  Squaxin  band,  in 
"Washington  Territory,  as  earning  seventy-five  per  cent.,  and  the 
Chippewas  of  Lake  Superior  as  earning  fifty  per  cent,  in  the 
tsame  way.  These  facts  also  would'  seem  to  dispose  of  the  ac- 
cusation that  the  Indian  will  not  work. 

There  are  about  55,000  who  never  visit  an  agency,  over 
whom  the  Government  does  not  pretend  to  have  either  control 
or  care.  These  55,000  "  subsist  by  hunting,  fishing,  on  roots, 
nuts,  berries,  etc.,  and  by  begging  and  stealing  ;"  and  this  also 
seems  to  dispose  of  the  accusation  that  the  Indian  will  not 
"work  for  a  living."  There  remains  a  small  portion,  about 
31,000,  that  are  entirely  subsisted  by  the  Government. 

There  is  not  among  these  three  hundred  bands  of  Indians 
one  which  has  not  suffered  cruelly  at  the  hands  either  of  the 
Government  or  of  white  settlers.  The  poorer,  the  more  insig- 
nificant, the  more  helpless  the  band,  the  more  certain  the  cru- 
elty and  outrage  to  which  they  have  been  subjected.  This  is 
especially  true  of  the  bands  on  the  Pacific  slope.  These  Indians 
found  themselves  of  a  sudden  surrounded  by  and  caught  up  in 
the  great  influx  of  gold-seeking  settlers,  as  helpless  creatures 
on  a  shore  are  caught  up  in  a  tidal  wave.  There  was  not  time 
for  the  Government  to  make  treaties ;  not  even  time  for  com- 
munities to  make  laws.  The  tale  of  the  wrongs,  the  oppres- 
sions, the  murders  of  the  Pacific-slope  Indians  in  the  last  thirty 
years  would  be  a  volume  by  itself,  and  is  too  monstrous  to  be 

It  makes  little  difference,  however,  where  one  opens  the  rec- 
ord of  the  history  of  the  Indians ;  every  page  and  every  year 
has  its  dark  stain.  The  story  of  one  tribe  is  the  story  of  all, 
varied  only  by  differences  of  time  and  place ;  but  neither  time 
nor  place  makes  any  difference  in  the  main  facts.  Colorado  is 
as  greedy  and  unjust  in  1880  as  was  Georgia  in  1830,  and  Ohio 


in  1795 ;  and  the  United  States  Government  breaks  promises 
now  as  deftly  as  then,  and  with  an  added  ingenuity  from  long 


One  of  its  strongest  supports  in  so  doing  is  the  wide-spread 
sentiment  among  the  people  of  dislike  to  the  Indian,  of  impa- 
tience with  his  presence  as  a  "  harrier  to  civilization/'  and  dis- 
trust of  it  as  a  possihle  danger.  The  old  tales  of  the  frontier 
life,  with  its  horrors  of  Indian  warfare,  have  gradually,  "by  two 
or  three  generations'  telling,  produced  in  the  average  mind 
something  like  an  hereditary  instinct  of  unquestioning  and  un- 
reasoning aversion  which  it  is  almost  impossible  to  dislodge  or 


There  are  hundreds  of  pages  of  unimpeachable  testimony  on 
the  side  of  the  Indian;  but  it  goes  for  nothing,  is  set  down  as 
sentimentalism  or  partisanship,  tossed  aside  and  forgotten. 

President  after  president  has  appointed  commission  after 
commission  to  inquire  into  and  report  upon  Indian  affairs,  and 
to  make  suggestions  as  to  the  best  methods  of  managing  them. 
The  reports  are  filled  with  eloquent  statements  of  wrongs  done 
to  the  Indians,  of  perfidies  on  the  part  of  the  Government ; 
they  counsel,  as  earnestly  as  word?  can,  a  trial  of  the  simple 
and  unperplexing  expedients  of  telling  truth,  keeping  prom- 
ises, making  fair  bargains,  dealing  justly  in  all  ways  and  all 
things.  These  reports  are  bound  up  with  the  Government's  An- 
nual Reports,  and  that  is  the  end  of  them.  It  would  probably 
be  no  exaggeration  to  say  that  not  one  American  citizen  out  of 
ten  thousand  ever  sees  them  or  knows  that  they  exist,  and  yet 
any  one  of  them,  circulated  throughout  the  country,  read  by 
the  right-thinking,  right-feeling  men  and  women  of  this  land, 
would  be  of  itself  a  "  campaign  document "  that  would  ini- 
tiate a  revolution  which  would  not  subside  until  the  Indians' 
wrongs  were,  so  far  as  is  now  left  possible,  righted. 

In  1869  President  Grant  appointed  a  commission  of  nine 
men,  representing  the  influence  and  philanthropy  of  six  leading 


States,  to  visit  tlie  different  Indian  reservations,  and  to  "exam- 
ine all  matters  appertaining  to  Indian  affairs." 

In  the  report  of  this  commission  are  such  paragraphs  as  the 
following :  "  To  assert  that  '  the  Indian  will  not  work '  is  as 
true  ^as  it  would  be  to  say  that  the  white  man  will  not  work. 

"  Why  should  the  Indian  be  expected  to  plant  corn,  fence 
lands,  build  houses,  or  do  anything  but  get  food  from  day  to 
day,  when  experience  has  taught  him  that  the  product  of  his 
labor  will  be  seized  by  the  white  man  to-morrow  ?  The  most 
industrious  white  man  would  become  a  drone  under  similar 
circumstances.  Nevertheless,  many  of  the  Indians  "  (the  com- 
missioners might  more  forcibly  have  said  130,000  of  the  In- 
dians) "  are  already  at  work,  and  furnish  ample  refutation  of 
the  assertion  that  '  the  Indian  will  not  work/  There  is  no 
escape  from  the  inexorable  logic  of  facts. 

"  The  history  of  the  Government  connections  with  the  In- 
dians is  a  shameful  record  of  broken  treaties  and  unfulfilled 
promises.  The  history  of  the  border  white  man's  connection 
with  the  Indians  is  a  sickening  record  of  murder,  outrage,  rob- 
bery, and  wrongs  committed  by  the  former,  as  the  rule,  and 
occasional  savage  outbreaks  and  unspeakably  barbarous  deeds 
of  retaliation  by  the  latter,  as  the  exception. 

"  Taught  by  the  Government  that  they  had  rights  entitled 
to  respect,  when  those  rights  have  been  assailed  by  the  rapac- 
ity of  the  white  man,  the  arm  which  should  have  been  raised 
to  protect  them  has  ever  been  ready  to  sustain  the  aggressor. 

"  The  testimony  of  some  of  the  highest  military  officers  of 
the  United  States  is  on  record  to  the  effect  that,  in  our  Indian 
wars,  almost  without  exception,  the  first  aggressions  have  been 
made  by  the  white  man ;  and  the  assertion  is  supported  by  ev- 
ery civilian  of  reputation  who  has  studied  the  subject.  In  ad- 
dition to  the  class  of  robbers  and  outlaws  who  find  impunity 
in  their  nefarious  pursuits  on  the  frontiers,  there  is  a  large 
class  of  professedly  reputable  men  who  use  every  means  in 


their  power  to  bring  on  Indian  wars  for  the  sake  of  the  profit 
to  be  realized  from  the  presence  of  troops  and  the  expenditure 
of  Government  funds  in  their  midst.  They  proclaim  death  to 
the  Indians  at  all  times  in  words  and  publications,  making  no 
distinction  between  the  innocent  and  the  guilty.  They  irate 
the  lowest  class  of  men  to  the  perpetration  of  the  darkest 
deeds  against  their  victims,  and  as  judges  and  jurymen  shield 
them  from  the  justice  due  to  their  crimes.  Every  crime  com- 
mitted by  a  white  man  against  an  Indian  is  concealed  or  pal- 
liated. Every  offence  committed  by  an  Indian  against  a  white 
man  is  borne  on  the  wings  of  the  post  or  the  telegraph  to  the 
remotest  corner  of  the  land,  clothed  with  all  the  horrors  which 
the  reality  or  imagination  can  throw  around  it.  Against  such 
influences  as  these  the  people  of  the  United  States  need  to  be 

To  assume  that  it  would  be  easy,  or  by  any  one  sudden 
stroke  of  legislative  policy  possible,  to  undo  the  mischief  and 
hurt  of  the  long  past,  set  the  Indian  policy  of  the  country  right 
for  the  future,  and  make  the  Indians  at  once  safe  and  happy, 
is  the  blunder  of  a  hasty  and  uninformed  judgment.  The  no- 
tion which  seems  to  be  growing  more  prevalent,  that  simply 
to  make  all  Indians  at  once  citizens  of  the  United  States  would 
be  a  sovereign  and  instantaneous  panacea  for  all  their  ills  and 
all  the  Government's  perplexities,  is  a  very  inconsiderate  one. 
To  administer  complete  citizenship  of  a  sudden,  all  round,  to 
all  Indians,  barbarous  and  civilized  alike,  would  be  as  grotesque 
a  blunder  as  to  dose  them  all  round  with  any  one  medicine, 
irrespective  of  the  symptoms  and  needs  of  their  diseases.  It 
would  kill  more  than  it  would  cure.  Nevertheless,  it  is  true, 
as  was  well  stated  by  one  of  the  superintendents  of  Indian 
Affairs  in  1857,  that,  "so  long  as  they  are  not  citizens  of  the 
United  States,  their  rights  of  property  must  remain  insecure 
against  invasion.  .-The  doors  of  the  federal  tribunals  being 
barred  against  them  while  wards  and  dependents,  they  can 


only  partially  exercise  the  rights  of  free  government,  or  give  to 
those  who  make,  execute,  and  construe  the  few  laws  they  are 
allowed  to  enact,  dignity  sufficient  to  make  them  respectable. 
While  they  continue  individually  to  gather  the  crumbs  that 
fall  from  the  table  of  the  United  States,  idleness,  improvix 
dence,  and  indebtedness  will  be  the  rule,  and  industry,  thrift, 
and  freedom  from  debt  the  exception.  The  utter  absence  of 
individual  title  to  particular  lands  deprives  every  one  among 
them  of  the  chief  incentive  to  labor  and  exerti9n — the  very 
mainspring  on  which  the  prosperity  of  a  people  depends." 

All  judicious  plans  and  measures  for  their  safety  and  salva- 
tion must  embody  provisions  for  their  becoming  citizens  as 
fast  as  they  are  fit,  and  must  protect  them  till  then  in  every 
right  and  particular  in  which  our  laws  protect  other  "persons" 
who  are  not  citizens. 

There  is  a  disposition  in  a  certain  class  of  minds  to  be 
impatient  with  any  protestation  against  wrong  which  is  unac- 
companied or  unprepared  with  a  quick  and  exact  scheme  of 
remedy.  This  is  illogical.  When  pioneers  in  a  new  country 
find  a  tract  of  poisonous  and  swampy  wilderness  to  be  re- 
claimed, they  do  not  withhold  their  hands  from  fire  and  axe 
till  they  see  clearly  which  way  roads  should  run,  where  good 
water  will  spring,  and  what  crops  will  best  grow  on  the  re- 
deemed land.  They  first  clear  the  swamp.  So  with  this 
poisonous  and  baffling  part  of  the  domain  of  our  national  af- 
fairs— let  us  first  "  clear  the  swamp." 

However  great  perplexity  and  difficulty  there  may  be  in  the 
details  of  any  and  every  plan  possible  for  doing  at  this  late 
day  anything  like  justice  to  the  Indian,  however  hard  it  may 
be  for  good  statesmen  and  good  men  to  agree  upon  the  things 
that  ought  to  be  done,  there  certainly  is,  or  ought  to  be,  no 
perplexity  whatever,  no  difficulty  whatever,  in  agreeing  upon 
certain  things  that  ought  not  to  be  done,  and  which  must 
cease  to  be  done  before  the  first  steps  can  be  taken  toward 

342  A  CENTUM   0* 

righting  the  wrongs,  curing  the  ills,  and  "wiping  out  the  dis- 
grace to  us  of  the  present  condition  of  our  Indians. 

Cheating,  robbing,  breaking  promises — these  three  are  clearly 
things  which  must  cease  to  be  done.  One  more  thing,  also, 
and  that  is  the  refusal  of  the  protection  of  the  law  to  the 
Indian's  rights  of  property,  "of  life,  liberty,  and  the  pursuit 
of  happiness." 

When  these  four  things  have  ceased  to  be  done,  time,  states- 
manship, philanthropy,  and  Christianity  can  slowly  and  surely 
do  the  rest.  Till  these  four  things  have  ceased  to  "be  done, 
statesmanship  and  philanthropy  alike  must  work  in  vain,  and 
even  Christianity  can  reap  but  small  harvest. 




THE  following  letters  were  printed  in  the  New  York  Tribune  in 
the  winter  of  1879.  They  are  of  interest,  not  only  as  giving  a 
minute  account  of  one  of  the  most  atrocious  massacres  ever  pei-- 
petrated,  but  also  as  showing  the  sense  of  justice  which  is  to  be 
found  in  the  frontiersman's  mind  to-day.  That  men,  exasperated 
by  atrocities  and  outrages,  should  have  avenged  themselves  with 
hot  haste  and  cruelty,  was,  perhaps,  only  human;  but  that  men 
should  be  found,  fifteen  years  later,  apologizing  for,  nay,  justifying 
the  cruel  deed,  is  indeed  a  matter  of  marvel. 


In  June,  1864,  Governor  Evans,  of  Colorado,  sent  out  a  circular 
to  the  Indians  of  the  Plains,  inviting  all  friendly  Indians  to  come 
into  the  neighborhood  of  the  forts,  and  be  protected  by  the  United 
States  troops.  Hostilities  and  depredations  had  been  committed 
by  some  bands  'of  Indians,  and  the  Government  was  about  to 
make  war  upon  them.  This  circular  says: 

"  In  some  instances  they  (the  Indians)  have  attacked  and  killed 
soldiers,  and  murdered  peaceable  citizens.  For  this  the  Great 
Father  is  angry,  and  will  certainly  hunt  them  out  and  punish 
them  ;  but  he  does  not  want  to  injure  those  who  remain  friendly 
to  the  whites.  He  desires  to  protect  and  take  care  of  them.  For 
this  purpose  I  direct  that  all  friendly  Indians  keep  away  from 
those  who  are  at  war,  and  go  to  places  of  safety.  Friendly  Arapa- 
hoes  and  Cheyennes  belonging  to  the  Arkansas  River  will  go  to 
Major  Colby,  United  States  Agent  at  Fort  Lyon,  who  will  give 
them  provisions  and  show  them  a  place  of  safety." 

In  consequence  of  this  proclamation  of  the  governor,  a  band  of 


Cheyennes,  several  hundred  in  number,  came  in  and  settled  down 
near  Fort  Lyon.  After  a  time  they  were  requested  to  move  to 
Sand  Creek,  about  forty  miles  from  Fort  Lyon,  where  they  were 
still  guaranteed  "  perfect  safety  "  and  the  protection  of  the  Gov- 
ernment. Kations  of  food  were  issued  to  them  from  time  to  time. 
On  the  27th  of  November,  Colonel  J.  M.  Chiviugton,  a  member 
of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  in  Denver,  and  Colonel  of  the 
First  Colorado  Cavalry,  led  his  regiment  by  a  forced  march  to 
Fort  Lyon,  induced  some  of  the  United  States  troops  to  join  him, 
and  fell  upon  this  camp  of  friendly  Indians  at  daybreak.  The 
chief,  White  Antelope,  always  known  as  friendly  to  the  whites, 
came  running  toward  the  soldiers,  holding  up  his  hands  and  cry- 
ing "  Stopl  stop!  "  in  English.  When  he  saw  that  there  was  no 
mistake,  that  it  was  a  deliberate  attack,  he  folded  his  arms  and 
waited  till  he  was  shot  down.  The  United  States  flag  was  float- 
ing over  the  lodge  of  Black  Kettle,  the  head  chief  of  the  tribe; 
below  it  was  tied  also  a  small  white  flag  as  additional  security — a 
precaution  Black  Kettle  had  been  advised  by  United  States  offi- 
cers to  take  if  he  met  troops  on  the  Plains.  In  Major  Wynkoop's 
testimony,  given  before  the  committee  appointed  by  Congress  to 
investigate  this  massacre,  is  the  following  passage : 

"  Women  and  children  were  killed  and  scalped,  children  shot 
at  their  mothers'  breasts,  and  all  the  bodies  mutilated  in  the  most 
horrible  manner.  *  *  *  The  dead  bodies  of  females  profaned  in 
such  a  manner  that  the  recital  is  sickening,  Colonel  J.  M.  Chiv- 
ington  all  the  time  inciting  his  troops  to  their  diabolical  out- 

Another  man  testified  as  to  what  he  saw  on  the  30th  of  Novem- 
ber, three  days  after  the  battle,  as  follows  : 

"  I  saw  a  man  dismount  from  his  horse  and  cut  the  ear  from 
the  body  of  an  Indian,  and  the  scalp  from  the  head  of  another.  I 
saw  a  number  of  children  killed  ;  they  had  bullet-holes  in  them  ; 
one  child  had  been  cut  with  some  sharp  instrument  across  its  side. 
I  saw  another  that  both  ears  had  been  cut  off .  *  *  *  I  saw  several 
of  the  Third  Regiment  cut  off  fingers  to  get  the  rings  off  them. 
I  saw  Major  Sayre  scalp  a  dead  Indian.  The  scalp  had  a  long 
tail  of  silver  hanging  to  it." 

Robert  Bent  testified : 

"  I  saw  one  squaw  lying  on  the  bank,  whose  leg  had  been  bro- 
ken. A  soldier  came  up  to  her  with  a  drawn  sabre.  She  raised 
her  arm  to  protect  herself  ;  he  struck,  .breaking  her  arm.  She 
rolled  over,  and  raised  her  other  arm;  he  struck,  breaking  that, 


and  then  left  her  without  killing  her.    I  saw  one  squaw  cut  open, 
with  an  unborn  child  lying  by  her  side." 

Major  Anthony  testified  : 

"  There  was  one  little  child,  probably  three  years  old,  just  big 
enough  to  walk  through  the  sand.  The  Indians  had  gone  ahead, 
and  this  little  child  was  behind,  following  after  them.  The  little 
fellow  was  perfectly  naked,  travelling  in  the  sand.  I  saw  one  man 
get  off  his  horse  at  a  distance  of  about  seventy-five  yards  and 
draw  up  his  rifle  and  fire.  He  missed  the  child.  Another  man 
came  up  and  said,  '  Let  me  try  the  son  of  a  b — .  I  can  hit  him.' 
He  got  down  off  his  horse,  kneeled  down,  and  fired  at  the  little 
child,  but  he  missed  him.  A  third  man  came  up,  and  made  a 
similar  remark,  and  fired,  and  the  little  fellow  dropped." 

The  Indians  were  not  able  to  make  much  resistance,  as  only  a 
part  of  them  were  armed,  the  United  States  officers  having  re- 
quired them  to  give  up  their  guns.  Luckily  they  had  kept  a  few. 

When  this  Colorado  regiment  of  demons  returned  to  Denver 
they  were  greeted  with  an  ovation.  The  Denver  News  said  :  "  All 
acquitted  themselves  well.  Colorado  soldiers  have  again  covered 
themselves  with  glory; "  and  at  a  theatrical  performance  given  in 
the  city,  these  scalps  taken  from  Indians  were  held  up  and  ex- 
hibited to  the  audience,  which  applauded  rapturously. 

After  listening,  day  after  day,  to  such  testimonies  as  these  I 
have  quoted,  and  others  so  much  worse  that  I  may  not  \vrite  and 
The  Tribune  could  not  print  the  words  needful  to  tell  them,  the 
committee  reported:  "  It  is  difficult  to  believe  that  beings  in  the 
form  of  men,  and  disgracing  the  uniform  of  United  States  sol- 
diers and  officers,  could  commit  or  countenance  the  commission 
of  such  acts  of  cruelty  and  barbarity;  "  and  of  Colonel  Chiving- 
ton:  u  He  deliberately  planned  and  executed  a  foul  and  dastardly 
massacre,  which  would  have  disgraced  the  veriest,  savage  among 
those  who  were  the  victims  of  his  cruelty." 

This  was  just  fifteen  years  ago,  no  more.  Shall  we  apply  the 
same  rule  of  judgment  to  the  white  men  of  Colorado  that  the 
Government  is  now  applying  to  the  Utes?  There  are  130,000  in- 
habitants of  Colorado;  hundreds  of  them  had  a  hand  in  this 
massacre,  and  thousands  in  cool  blood  applauded  it  when  it  was 
done.  There  are  4000  Utes  in  Colorado.  Twelve  of  them,  des- 
perate, guilty  men,  have  committed  murder  and  rape,  and  three 
or  four  hundred  of  them  did,  in  the  convenient  phrase  of  our 
diplomacy,  "  go  to  war  against  the  Government;  "  z.  e.,  they  at- 
tempted, by  force  of  arms,  to  restrain  the  entrance  upon  their  own 



lands — lands  bought,  owned  and  paid  for — of  soldiers  thai;  the 
Government  had  sent  there,  to  be  ready  to  make  war  upon  them, 
in  case  the  agent  thought  it  best  to  do  so !  This  is  the  plain  Eng- 
lish of  it.  This  is  the  plain,  naked  truth  of  it. 

And  now  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  has  stopped  the  issue  of 
rations  to  1000  of  these  helpless  creatures ;  rations,  be  it  under- 
stood, which  are  not,  and  never  were,  a  charity,  but  are  the  Utes' 
rightful  dues,  on  account  of  lands  by  them  sold;  dues  which  the 
Government  promised  to  pay  "  annually  forever."  Will  the  Amer- 
ican people  justify  this?  There  is  such  a  thing  as  the  conscience 
of  a  nation — as  a  nation's  sense  of  justice.  Can  it  not  be  roused 
to  speak  now?  Shall  we  sit  still,  warm  and  well  fed,  in  our 
homes,  while  five  hundred  women  and  little  children  are  being 
slowly  starved  in  the  bleak,  barren  wildernesses  of  Colorado? 
Starved,  not  because  storm,  or  blight,  or  drouth  has  visited  their 
country  and  cut  off  their  crops;  not  because  pestilence  has  laid 
its  hand  on  them  and  slain  the  hunters  who  brought  them  meat, 
but  because  it  lies  within  the  promise  of  one  man,  by  one  word, 
to  deprive  them  of  one-half  their  necessary  food  for  as  long  a  term 
of  years  as  he  may  please ;  and  "  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  can- 
not consistently  feed  a  tribe  that  has  gone  to  war  against  the 

We  read  in  the  statutes  of  the  United  States  that  certain  things 
may  be  done  by  "  executive  order  "  of  the  President.  Is  it  not 
time  for  a  President  to  interfere  when  hundreds  of  women  and 
children  are  being  starved  in  his  Republic  by  the  order  of  one 
man  ?  Colonel  J.  M.  Chivington's  method  was  less  inhuman  by 
far.  To  be  shot  dead  is  a  mercy,  and  a  grace  for  which  we  would 
all  sue,  if  to  be  starved  to  death  were  our  only  other  alternative. 

New  York,  Jan.  31st,  1880.  H.  H. 

This  letter  drew  from  the  former  editor  of  the  Rocky  Mountain 
News,  a  Denver  newspaper,  the  following  reply  : 

To  the  Editor  of  the  Tribune: 

SIR,— In  your  edition  of  yesterday  appears  an  article,  under  the 
above  caption,  which  arraigns  the  people  of  Colorado  as  a  com- 
munity of  barbarous  murderers,  and  finally  elevates  them  above 
the  present  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  thereby  placing  the  latter 
gentleman  in  a  most  unenviable  light  if  the  charges  averred  be 
true.  <  <  The  Sand  Creek  Massacre  "  of  1864  is  made  the  text  and 


burden  of  the  article;  its  application  is  to  the  present  condition 
of  the  White  River  band  of  Utes  in  Colorado.  Quotations  are 
given  from  the  testimony  gathered,  and  the  report  made  thereon 
by  a  committee  of  Congress  charged  with  a  so-called  investiga- 
tion of  the  Sand  Creek  affair.  That  investigation  was  made  for  a 
certain  selfish  purpose.  It  was  to  break  down  and  ruin  certain 
men.  Evidence  was  taken  upon  one  side  only.  It  was  largely 
false,  and  infamously  partial.  There  was  no  answer  for  the  de- 

The  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe  Indians  assembled  at  Sand  Creek 
were  not  under  the  protection  of  a  United  States  fort.  A  few  of 
them  had  been  encamped  about  Fort  Lyon  and  drawing  supplies 
therefrom,  but  they  had  gradually  disappeared  and  joined  the 
main  camp  on  Dry  Sandy,  forty  miles  from  the  fort,  separated 
from  it  by  a  waterless  desert,  and  entirely  beyond  the  limit  of  its 
control  or  observation.  While  some  of  the  occupants  were  still, 
no  doubt,  occasional  visitors  at  the  fort,  and  applicants  for  sup- 
plies and  ammunition,  most  of  the  warriors  were  engaged  in  raid- 
ing the  great  Platte  Eiver  Road,  seventy-five  miles  farther  north, 
robbing  and  burning  trains,  stealing  cattle  and  horses,  robbing 
and  destroying  the  United  States  mails,  and  killing  white  people. 
During  the  summer  and  fall  they  had  murdered  over  fifty  of  the 
citizens  of  Colorado.  They  had  stolen  and  destroyed  provisions 
and  merchandise,  and  driven  away  stock  worth  hundreds  of 
thousands  of  dollars.  They  had  interrupted  the  mails,  and  for 
thirty-two  consecutive  days  none  were  allowed  to  pass  then-  lines. 
When  satiated  with  murder  and  arson,  and  loaded  with  plunder, 
they  would  retire  to  their  sacred  refuge  on  Sand  Creek  to  rest 
and  refresh  themselves,  recruit  their  wasted  supplies  of  ammuni- 
tion from  Fort  Lyon— begged  under  the  garb  of  gentle,  peaceful 
savages — and  then  return  to  the  road  to  relieve  their  tired  com- 
rades, and  riot  again  in  carnage  and  robbery.  These  are  facts; 
and  when  the  "  robbers'  roost "  was  cleaned  out,  on  that  sad 
but  glorious  27th  day  of  November,  1864,  they  were  sufficiently 
proven.  Scalps  of  white  men  not  yet  dried ;  letters  and  photo- 
graphs stolen  from  the  mails;  bills  of  lading  and  invoices  of 
goods;  bales  and  bolts  of  the  goods  themselves,  addressed  to 
merchants  in  Denver;  half- worn  clothing  of  white  women  and 
children,  and  many  other  articles  of  like  character,  were  found  in 
that  poetical  Indian  camp,  and  recovered  by  the  Colorado  sol- 
diers. They  were  brought  to  Denver,  and  those  were  the  scalps 
exhibited  in  the  theatre  of  that  city.  There  was  also  an  Indian 


saddle-blanket  entirely  fringed  around  the  edges  -with  white 
women's  scalps,  with  the  long,  fair  hair  attached.  There  was 
an  Indian  saddle  over  the  pommel  of  which  was  stretched  skin 
stripped  from  the  body  of  a  white  woman.  Is  it  any  wonder  that 
soldiers  flushed  with  victory,  after  one  of  the  hardest  campaigns 
ever  endured  by  men,  should  indulge  —  some  of  them — in  unwar- 
ranted atrocities  after  finding  such  evidence  of  barbarism,  and 
while  more  than  forty  of  their  comrades  were  weltering  in  their 
own  blood  upon  the  field? 

If  "  H.  H."  had  been  in  Denver  in  the  early  part  of  that  sum- 
mer, when  the  bloated,  festering  bodies  of  the  Hungate  family — 
father,  mother,  and  two  babes — were  drawn  through  the  streets 
naked  in  an  ox- wagon,  cut,  mutilated,  and  scalped — the  work  of 
those  same  red  fiends  who  were  so  justly  punished  at  Sand  Creek; 
if,  later,  "  H.  H."  had  seeu  an  upright  and  most  estimable  business 
man  go  crazy  over  the  news  of  his  son's  being  tortured  to  death 
a  hundred  miles  down  the  Platte,  as  I  did ;  if  "  H.  H."  had  seen 
one-half  the  Colorado  homes  made  desolate  that  fateful  season, 
and  a  tithe  of  the  tears  that  .were  caused  to  flow,  I  think  there 
would  have  been  one  little  word  of  excuse  for  the  people  of  Colo- 
rado— more  than  a  doubtful  comparison  with  an  inefficient  and 
culpable  Indian  policy.  Bear  in  mind  that  Colorado  had  no  rail- 
roads then.  Her  supplies  reached  her  by  only  one  road — along 
the  Platte— in  wagons  drawn  by  oxen,  mules,  or  horses.  That 
line  was  in  full  possession  of  the  enemy.  Starvation  stared  us  in 
the  face.  Hardly  a  party  went  or  came  without  some  persons  be- 
ing killed.  In  some  instances  whole  trains  were  cut  off  and  de- 
stroyed. Sand  Creek  saved  Colorado,  and  taught  the  Indians  the 
most  salutary  lesson  they  had  ever  learned.  And  now,  after  fif- 
teen years,  and  here  in  the  shadow  of  the  Nation's  Capitol,  with 
the  spectre  of  "  H.  H.'s  "  condemnation  staring  me  in  the  face,  I 
am  neither  afraid  nor  ashamed  to  repeat  the  language  then  used 
by  The  Denver  News :  «  All  acquitted  themselves  well.  Colorado 
soldiers  have  again  covered  themselves  with  glory." 

Thus  much  of  history  is  gone  over  by  "  H.  H."  to  present  in 
true  dramatic  form  the  deplorable  condition  of  the  White  River 
Utes,  1000  in  number,  who  are  now  suffering  the  pangs  of  hunger 
and  the  discomfort  of  cold  in  the  wilds  of  Western  Colorado, 
without  any  kind  agent  to  issue  rations,  provide  blankets,  or 
build  fires  for  them.  It  is  really  too  bad.  A  painful  dispensa- 
tion of  Providence  has  deprived  them  of  their  best  friend,  and 
they  are  desolate  and  bereaved.  He  placed  his  life  and  its  best 


efforts,  his  unbounded  enthusiasm  for  their  good,  his  great  Chris- 
tian heart — all  at  their  service.  But  an  accident  befell  him,  and 
he  is  no  more.  The  coroner's  jury  that  sat  upon  his  remains 
found  that  his  dead  body  had  a  barrel  stave  driven  into  his 
mouth,  a  log-chain  around  his  neck,  by  which  it  had  been 
dragged  about  like  a  dead  hog,  and  sundry  bullet-holes  through 
his  body.  The  presumption  was  that  from  the  effect  of  some  one 
of  these  accidents  he  died ;  and,  alas  1  he  is  no  longer  to  serve  out 
weekly  rations  to  his  flock  of  gentle  Utes.  There  is  no  sorrow 
over  his  death  or  the  desolation  it  wrought,  but  there  is  pity, 
oceans  of  pity,  for  the  Indians  who  are  hungry  and  cold.  True, 
at  the  time  he  died  they  took  the  flour,  the  pork,  and  salt,  and 
coffee,  and  sugar,  and  tobacco,  and  blankets,  and  all  the  other 
supplies  that  he  would  have  issued  to  them  through  all  this  long 
winter  had  he  lived.  With  his  care  these  would, have  lasted  un- 
til spring,  and  been  sufficient  for  their  wants;  but,  without  it, 
"  H.  H."  is  suspicious  that  they  are  all  gone,  and  yet  it  is  but  just 
past  the  middle  of  winter.  Can  "  H.  H."  tell  why  this  is  thus? 
It  is  also  true  that  they  drove  away  the  large  herd  of  cattle  from 
the  increase  of  which  that  same  unfortunate  agent  and  his  prede- 
cessors had  supplied  them  with  beef  for  eleven  years  past,  and  yet 
the  consumption  did  not  keep  pace  with  the  natural  increase. 
They  took  them  all,  and  are  presumed  to  have  them  now.  True, 
again,  they  had  at  the  beginning  of  winter,  or  at  the  period  of  the 
melancholy  loss  of  their  best  friend,  about  4000  horses  that  were 
rolling  fat,  and  three  acres  of  dogs— not  bad  food  in  an  emer- 
gency, or  for  an  Indian  thanksgiving  feast — some  of  which  should 
still  remain. 


But  "  H.  H."  intimates  that  there  is  an  alleged  excuse  for  with- 
holding rations  from  these  poor,  persecuted  red  angels.  "  Twelve  " 
of  them  have  been  bad,  and  the  tyrant  at  the  head  of  the  Interior 
Department  is  systematically  starving  all  of  the  1000  who  con- 
stitute the  band,  and  their  4000  horses,  and  1800  cattle,  and  three 
acres  of  dogs,  and  six  months'  supplies,  because  those  twelve  bad 
Indians  cannot  conscientiously  pick  themselves  out  and  be  offered 
np  as  a  burnt-offering  and  a  sacrifice  to  appease  the  wrath  of  an 
outraged  and  partly  civilized  nation.  This  is  the  present  indict- 
ment, and  the  Secretary  and  the  President  are  commanded  to 
stand  up  and  plead  "  Guilty  or  not  guilty,  but  you  know  you  are 
guilty,  d— n  you."  Now  I  challenge  and  defy  "H.  H.,"  or  any 


other  person  living,  to  pick  out  or  name  twelve  White  River  male 
TJtes,  over  sixteen  years  of  age,  who  were  not  guilty,  directly  or 
indirectly,  as  principals  or  accomplices  before  the  fact,  in  the 
Thornburgh  attack  or  in  the  Agency  massacre.  I  know  these 
Indians  well  enough  to  know  that  these  attacks  were  perfectly 
understood  and  deliberately  planned.  I  cannot  be  made  to  be- 
lieve that  a  single  one  of  them,  of  common-sense  and  intelligence, 
was  ignorant  of  what  was  to  take  place,  and  that  knowledge  ex- 
tended far  beyond  the  White  River  band.  There  were  plenty  of 
recruits  from  both  the  Los  Pinos  and  the  Uiutali  bands.  In  with- 
holding supplies  from  the  White  River  Utes  the  Secretary  of  the 
Interior  is  simply  obeying  the  law.  He  cannot,  except  upon  his 
own  personal  responsibility,  issue  supplies  to  a  hostile  Indian 
tribe,  and  the  country  will  hold  him  accountable  for  a  departure 
from  his  line  of  duty.  Inferential^  the  Indians  are  justified  by 
"H.  E."  in  their  attack  upon  Thornburgh's  command.  Their 
object  was  to  defend  "their  own  lands— lands  bought,  owned, 
and  paid  for."  Bought  of  whom,  pray  ?  Paid  for  by  whom  ? 
To  whom  was  payment  made?  The  soldiers  were  making  no 
attack;  they  contemplated  none.  The  agent  had  no  authority 
to  order  an  attack.  He  could  not  proclaim  war.  He  could  have 
no  control  whatever  over  the  troops.  But  his  life  was  in  danger. 
The  honor  of  his  family  was  at  stake.  He  asked  for  protection. 
"  H.  H."  says  he  had  no  right  to  it.  His  life  and  the  honor  of 
his  aged  wife  and  of  his  virgin  daughter  are  gone,  and  "  H.  H." 
is  the  champion  of  fiends  who  wrought  the  ruin. 

WM.  N.  BYERS. 
Washington,  D.  0.,  Feb.  6th,  1880. 

The  most  fitting  reply  to  the  assertions  in  this  extraordinary 
document  was  by  still  further  citations  from  the  sworn  testimony 
given  before  the  Congressional  committees— evidence  with  which 
volumes  could  have  been  filled. 

To  flie  Editor  of  the  Tribune: 

SIR,— In  reply  to  the  letter  in  Sunday's  Tribune,  headed  "  The 
Starving  Utes,"  I  would  like  to  place  before  the  readers  of  The 
Tribune  some  extracts  from  sworn  testimony  taken  in  Colorado 
on  the  subject  of  the  Sand  Creek  massacre.  The  writer  of  this 
letter  says: 

"The  Cheyenne  and  Arapahoe  Indians  assembled  at  Sand 
Creek  were  not  under  the  protection  of  a  United  States  fort.'' 


The  following  testimony  is  that  of  Lieutenant  Craven,  Senate 
Document,  vol.  ii.,  1866-67,  p.  46: 

"I  had  some  conversation  with  Major  Downing,  Lieutenant 
Maynard,  and  Colonel  Chivington.  I  stated  to  them  my  feelings 
in  regard  to  the  matter — that  I  believed  it  to  be  murder — and 
stated  the  obligations  that  we  of  Major  Wynkoop's  command 
were  under  to  those  Indians. 

"To  Colonel  Chivington  I  know  I  stated  that  Major  Wynkoop 
had  pledged  his  word  as  an  officer  and  man  to  those  Indians,  and 
that  all  officers  under  him  were  indirectly  pledged  in  the  same 
manner  that  he  was,  and  that  I  felt  that  it  was  placing  us  in 
very  embarrassing  circumstances  to  fight  the  same  Indians  that 
had  saved  our  lives,  as  we  all  felt  that  they  had. 

"  Colonel  Chivington 's  reply  was  that  he  believed  it  to  be  right 
and  honorable  to  use  any  means  under  God's  heaven  to  kill  Indians 
that  would  kill  women  and  children ;  and,  *  damn  any  one  that 
was  in  sympathy  with  Indians;'  and,  'such  men  as  Major  Wyn- 
koop and  myself  had  better  get  out  of  the  United  States  service.'  " 

This  conversation  was  testified  to  by  other  witnesses.  Major 
Wynkoop,  it  will  be  remembered,  was  the  officer  in  command  at 
Fort  Lyon  when  this  band  of  Cheyenues  and  Arapahoes  came  in 
there  to  claim  protection,  in  consequence  of  the  governor's  proc- 
lamation, saying  that, 

"  All  friendly  Arapahoes  and  Cheyennes,  belonging  on  the  Ar- 
kansas River,  will  go  to  Major  Colby,  United  States  Indian  Agent 
at  Fort  Lyon,  who  will  give  them  provisions  and  show  them  a 
place  of  safety." 

Major  Wynkoop  was  succeeded  in  the  command  of  Fort  Lyon 
by  Major  Anthony,  who  continued  for  a  time  to  issue  rations  to 
these  Indians,  as  Major  Wynkoop  had  done;  but  after  a  time  he 
called  them  together  and  told  them  he  could  not  feed  them  any 
longer;  they  would  better  go  where  they  could  hunt.  He  selected 
the  place  to  which  they  were  to  move  on  Sandy  Creek.  They  obeyed, 
and  he  gave  back  to  them  some  of  the  arms  which  had  been  taken 
away.  They  were  moved  to  Sandy  Creek,  about  forty  miles  from 
Fort  Lyon,  partly  "for  fear  of  some  conflict  between  them  and 
the  soldiers  or  emigrants,"  Fort  Lyon  being  on  a  thoroughfare  of 
travel.  One  of  the  chiefs — One  Eye— was  hired  by  Major  An- 
thony at  $125  a  month  "  to  obtain  information  for  the  use  of  the 
military  authorities.  Several  times  he  brought  news  to  the  fort 
of  proposed  movements  of  hostile  Indians."  This  chief  was 
killed  in  the  massacre. 


This  is  the  testimony  of  Captain  Soule,  First  Colorado  Cavalry: 

"  Did  you  protest  against  attacking  those  Indians?  " 

"  I  did." 

«'  Who  was  your  commanding  officer?  " 

"Major  Anthony." 

"  Did  you  inform  Major  Anthony  of  the  relations  existing  with 
Black  Kettle?" 

"I  did.  He  knew  the  relations.  I  frequently  talked  to  him 
about  it." 

"  What  answer  did  Major  Anthony  make  to  your  protests  ?  " 

«*  He  said  that  we  were  going  to  fight  the  hostile  Indians  at 
Smoky  Hill.  He  also  said  that  he  was  in  for  killing  all  Indians, 
and  that  he  had  only  been  acting  friendly  with  them  until  he 
could  get  a  force  large  enough  to  go  out  and  kill  all  of  them." 

This  is  the  testimony  of  S.  E.  Brown: 

"  Colonel  Chivington  in  a  public  speech  said  his  policy  was  to 
kill  and  scalp  all,  little  and  big:  nits  made  lice." 

Governor  Hunt  testified  as  follows:  [Governor  Hunt  was  one 
of  the  earliest  settlers  in  Colorado.  He  was  United  States  Mar- 
shal, Delegate  to  Congress,  and  afterward  Governor  of  the  Terri- 

"  We  have  always  regarded  Black  Kettle  and  White  Antelope 
as  the  special  friends  of  the  white  man  ever  since  I  have  been  in 
this  country." 

"  Do  you  know  of  any  acts  of  hostility  committed  by  them  or 
with  their  consent?  " 

"No,  sir,  I  do  not." 

"  Did  you  ever  hear  any  acts  of  hostility  attributed  to  them  by 
any  one?" 

"No,  sir."*** 

The  following  extract  is: 

"  The  regiment,  when  they  marched  into  Denver,  exhibited 
Indian  scalps." 

This  is  from  the  official  report  of  Major  Wynkoop,  major  com- 
manding Fort  Lyon. 

"  In  conclusion,  allow  me  to  say  that,  from  the  time  I  held  the 
consultation  with  the  Indian  chiefs  on  the  head-waters  of  Smoky 
Hill  up  to  the  date  of  this  massacre  by  Colonel  Chivington,  not 
one  single  depredation  had  been  committed  by  the  Cheyenne  and 
Arapahoe  Indians.  The  settlers  of  the  Arkansas  Valley  had  re- 
turned to  their  ranches,  from  which  they  had  fled,  had  taken  in 
their  crops,  and  had  been  resting  in  perfect  security  under  assur- 


ances  from  myself  that  they  would  be  in  no  danger  for  the  pres- 
ent. Since  this  last  horrible  murder  by  Colonel  Chivington  the 
country  presents  a  scene  of  desolation.  All  communication  is 
cut  ofE  with  the  States,  except  by  sending  large  bodies  of  troops, 
and  already  over  a  hundred  whites  have  fallen  victims  to  the 
fearful  vengeance  of  these  betrayed  Indians." 
January  15th,  1865. 

The  writer  of  this  letter  says,  in  regard  to  the  investigation  of 
the  Sand  Creek  massacre  by  the  Congressional  committee,  that 
"  evidence  was  taken  upon  one  side  only,"  and  "there  was  no 
answer  for  the  defence." 

A  large  part  of  the  testimony  is  sworn  evidence,  given  by  the 
Governor  of  Colorado,  by  Colonel  J.  M.  Chivington  himself,  who 
planned  and  executed  the  massacre,  and  by  Major  Anthony,  who 
accompanied  him  with  troops  from  Fort  Lyon.  The  writer  of 
this  article  says  that  "  the  investigation  was  made  for  a  certain 
selfish  purpose,  *  *  *  to  break  down  -and  ruin  certain  men." 

The  names  of  Senator  Foster,  Senator  Doolittle,  and  "honest 
Ben  Wade  "  are  the  best  refutation  of  this  statement.  It  will  be 
hard  to  impeach  the  trustworthiness  of  reports  signed  by  these 
names,  and  one  of  these  reports  says: 

"  It  is  difficult  to  believe  that  beings  in  the  form  of  men,  and 
disgracing  the  uniform  of  United  States  soldiers  and  officers, 
could  commit  or  countenance  the  commission  of  such  acts  of 
cruelty  and  barbarity." 

Of  Colonel  Chivington,  it  says: 

"He  deliberately  planned  and  executed  a  foul  and  dastardly 
massacre,  which  would  have  disgraced  the  veriest  savage  among 
those  .who  were  the  victims  of  his  cruelty." 

And  of  Major  Anthony: 

"  The  testimony  of  Major  Anthony,  who  succeeded  an  officer 
disposed  to  treat  these  Indians  with  justice  and  humanity,  is  suffi- 
cient of  itself  to  show  how  unprovoked  and  unwarranted  was  this 
massacre.  He  testifies  that  he  found  these  Indians  camped  near 
Fort  Lyon  when  he  assumed  command  of  that  fort;  that  they  pro- 
fessed their  friendliness  to  the  whites,  and  their  willingness  to  do 
whatever  he  demanded  of  them ;  that  they  delivered  their  arms 
up  to  him ;  that  they  went  to  and  encamped  on  the  place  desig- 
nated by  him;  that  they  gave  him  information  from  time  to  time 
of  acts  of  hostility  which  were  meditated  by  other  hostile  bands, 
and  in  every  way  conducted  themselves  properly  and  peaceably; 



and  yet  he  says  it  was  fear  and  not  principle  which  prevented  his 
killing  them  while  they  were  completely  in  his  power;  and,  when 
Colonel  Chivington  appeared  at  Fort  Lyon  on  his  mission  of 
murder  and  barbarity,  Major  Anthony  made  haste  to  accompany 
him  with  men  and  artillery." 

The  writer  of  this  letter  says  that  the  evidence  given  in  this 
"  so-called  investigation  "  was  "  largely  false  and  infamously  par- 
tial." If  this  were  the  case,  why  did  not  all  persons  so  "  infa- 
mously "  slandered  see  to  it  that  before  the  year  ended  their  own 
version  of  the  affair  should  reach,  if  not  the  general  public,  at 
least  the  Department  of  the  Interior?  Why  did  they  leave  it 
possible  for  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  to  incorporate  in  his 
Annual  Report  for  1865 — to  be  read  by  all  the  American  people— 
these  paragraphs'? 

"  No  official  account  has  ever  reached  this  office  from  its  own 
proper  sources  of  the  most  disastrous  and  shameful  occurrence, 
the  massacre  of  a  large  number  of  men,  women,  and  children  of 
the  Indians  of  this  agency  (the  Upper  Arkansas)  by  the  troops 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  Chivington  of  the  United  States 
Volunteer  Cavalry  of  Colorado.  *  *  * 

u  When  several  hundred  of  them  had  come  into  a  place  desig- 
nated by  Governor  Evans  as  a  rendezvous  for  those  who  would 
separate  themselves  from  the  hostile  parties,  these  Indians  were 
set  upon  and  butchered  in  cold  blood  by  troops  in  the  service  of 
the  United  States.  The  few  who  escaped  to  the  northward  told 
a  story  which  effectually  prevented  any  more  advances  toward 
peace  by  such  of  the  bands  as  were  well  disposed." 

And  why  did  the  Government  of  the  United  States  empower 
General  Sanborn,  in  the  Council  held  October  12th,  1865,  with  the 
Arapahoes  and  Cheyennes,  including  the  remnants  of  bands  that 
had  escaped  from  the  Sand  Creek  massacre,  to  formally  and  offi- 
cially repudiate  the  action  of  the  United  States  soldiers  in  that 
massacre?  General  Sanborn  said,  in  this  council: 

"  We  all  feel  disgraced  and  ashamed  when  we  see  our  officers 
or  soldiers  oppressing  the  weak,  or  making  war  on  those  who  are 
at  peace  with  us.  *  *  *  We  are  willing,  as  representatives  of  the 
President,  to  restore  all  the  property  lost  at  Sand  Creek,  or  its 
value.  *  *  *  He  has  sent  out  his  commissioners  to  make  reparation, 
as  far  as  we  can.  *  *  *  So  heartily  do  we  repudiate  the  actions  of 
our  soldiers  that  we  are  willing  to  give  to  the  chiefs  in  their  own 
right  320  acres  of  land  each,  to  hold  as  his  own  forever,  and  to 
each  of  the  children  and  squaws  who  lost  Lusbands  or  parent*,- 


we  are  also  willing  to  give  160  acres  of  land  as  their  own,  to  keep 
as  long  as  they  live." 

The  writer  of  this  letter,  quoting  the  statement  from  a  previous 
article  in  The  Tribune,  that  the  White  River  Utes,  in  their  attack 
on  Major  Thornburgh's  command,  fought  "to  defend  their  own 
lands — lands  bought,  owned,  and  paid  for,"  asks: 

"  Bought  of  whom,  pray  ?  Paid  for  by  whom  ?  To  whom  was 
payment  made?" 

"Bought"  of  the  United  States  Government,  thereby  recog- 
nizing the  United  States  Government's  right  to  "  the  sovereignty 
of  the  soil"  as  superior  to  the  Indians'  "right  of  occupancy." 

"  Paid  for  "  by  the  Ute  Indians,  by  repeated  «  relinquishments  " 
of  said  4  'right  of  occupancy"  in  large  tracts  of  valuable  lands; 
notably  by  the  "  relinquishment,"  according  to  the  B/unot  Treaty 
of  1873,  of  4,000,000  acres  of  valuable  lands,  "  unquestionably 
rich  in  mineral  deposits."— Annual  Report  of  the  Secretary  of  the 
Interior  for  1873,  p.  464. 

"  To  whom  was  payment  made  ?  " 

To  the  United  States  Government,  which  has  accepted  and 
ratified  such  exchanges  of  "right  of  occupancy"  for  "right  of 
sovereignty,"  and  such  sales  of  "right  of  occupancy"  for  large 
sums  of  money  by  repeated  and  reiterated  treaties. 

The  Secretary  of  the  Interior  has  incorporated  in  his  Annual 
Report  for  1879  (in  the  report  on  Indian  Affairs,  p.  36)  the 
following  paragraphs: 

"  Let  it  be  fully  understood  that  the  Ute  Indians  have  a  good 
and  sufficient  title  to  12,000,000  acres  of  land  in  Colorado,  and 
that  these  Indians  did  not  thrust  themselves  in  the  way  of  the 
white  people,  but  that  they  were  originally  and  rightfully  pos- 
sessors of  the  soil,  and  that  the  land  they  occupy  has  been 
acknowledged  to  be  theirs  by  solemn  treaties  made  with  them  by 
the  United  States. 

"It  will  not  do  to  say  that  a  treaty  with  an  Indian  means 
nothing.  It  means  even  more  than  the  pledge  of  the  Govern- 
ment to  pay  a  bond.  It  is  the  most  solemn  declaration  that 
any  government  of  any  people  ever  enters  into.  Neither  will 
it  do  to  say  that  treaties  never  ought  to  have  been  made  with 
Indians.  That  question  is  now  not  in  order,  as  the  treaties 
have  been  made,  and  must  be  lived  up  to  whether  convenient  or 

"  By  beginning  at  the  outset  with  the  full  acknowledgment  of 
the  absolute  and  indefeasible  right  of  these  Indians  to  12,000,000 


acres  in  Colorado,  we  can  properly  consider  what  is  the  best 
method  of  extinguishing  the  Indian  title  thereto  without  injus^ 
tice  to  the  Indians,  and  without  violating  the  plighted  faith  oi 
the  Government  of  the  United  States." 

The  writer  of  this  letter  says: 

"In  withholding  supplies  from  the  White  River  Utes,  the 
Secretary  of  the  Interior  is  simply  obeying  the  law.  He  cannot, 
except  upon  his  own  personal  responsibility,  issue  supplies  to  a 
hostile  Indian  tribe." 

Secretary  Schurz  has  published,  in  the  Annual  Eeport  of  the 
Department  of  the  Interior  for  1879,  the  following  paragraph  in 
regard  to  this  case  of  the  White  River  Utes: 

"  The  atrocity  of  the  crimes  committed  should  not  prevent 
those  individuals  who  are  innocent  from  being  treated  as  such, 
according  to  Article  17  of  the  treaty,  viz.  :  Provided,  that  if  auy 
chief  of  either  of  the  confederated  bands  make  war  against  the 
United  States,  or  in  any  manner  violate  this  treaty  in  any  essen- 
tial part,  said  chief  shall  forf eit  his  position  as  chief,  and  all  rights 
to  any  of  the  benefits  of  this  treaty ;  but,  provided  further,  any 
Indian  of  either  of  these  confederated  bands  who  shall  remain  at 
peace,  and  abide  by  the  terms  of  this  treaty  in  all  its  essentials, 
shall  be  entitled  to  its  benefits  and  provisions,  notwithstanding 
his  particular  chief  and  band  have  forfeited  their  rights  thereto." 

The  writer  of  this  letter  says,  in  allusion  to  the  murders  and 
outrages  committed  by  some  of  the  White  River  Utes,  that "  H.  H. 
is  the  champion  of  the  fiends  who  wrought  the  ruin."  Have  the 
readers  of  The  Tribune  so  understood  my  protests  against  the 
injustice  of  punishing  the  innocent  for  the  crimes  of  the  guilty  ? 

H.  H. 

New  York,  Peb.  22d,  1880. 

This  letter  was  followed  by  a  card  from  Mr.  Byers,  reiterating 
some  of  his  assertions ;  and  by  a  second  short  letter,  which  closed 
the  discussion* 

To  the  Editor  of  the  Tribune: 

SIE, — I  ask  only  a  little  space  for  reference  to  the  communica- 
tion of  "  H.  H."  in  to-day's  Tribune.  It  isasked,.  "  If  the  investi- 
gation of  the  Sand  Creek  affair  was  so  unfair,  why  did  not  the 
people  of  Colorado  correct  the  false  impression  by  presenting 
their  own  version  of  the  case?"  The  answer  is  that  the  case 
was  prejudged,  and  we  were  denied  a  hearing  in  our  defence. 


The  inference  is  conveyed  in  to-day's  article  that  Indian  hostil- 
ities on  the  plains  were  provoked  by  and  followed  after  the  Sand 
Creek  massacre.  We,  who  were  so  unfortunate  as  to  be  citizens 
of  Colorado  at  the  time,  know  that  a  very  great  majority  of  the 
savage  atrocities  of  that  period  occurred  before  the  battle  of  Sand 
Creek.  We  know  that  the  Sand  Creek  Indian  camp  was  the 
common  rendezvous  of  the  hostile  bands  who  were  committing 
those  atrocities.  We  know  that  comparatively  few  occurred  after- 
ward. No  amount  of  special  pleading,  no  reiteration  of  partial 
statements,  and  withholding  of  more  important  truths,  will  change 
the  facts  so  well  known  to  the  earlier  settlers  of  Colorado. 

I  deny  that  the  Utes  have  either  bought  or  paid  for  any  land. 
They  have  relinquished  for  a  consideration  a  certain  portion  of 
the  land  they  formerly  claimed,  and  still  retain  the  other  portion. 
I  deny,  also,  that  only  twelve  of  the  White  Kiver  Utes  are  guilty 
and  the  great  mass  of  them  innocent.  The  contrary  is  the  fact 

WM.  N.  BYEBS. 

New  York,  Feb.  24th,  1880. 

To  the  Editor  of  the  Tribune: 

SIR, — In  reply  to  the  assertion  that  the  perpetrators  of  the  Sand 
Creek  massacre  were  "  denied  a  hearing  in  their  defence,"  I  wish 
to  state  to  the  readers  of  The  Tribune  that,  in  addition  to  the  Con- 
gressional committees  from  whose  reports  I  have  already  quoted, 
there  was  appointed  a  Military  Commission  to  investigate  that 
massacre.  This  commission  sat  seventy-three  days,  in  Denver 
and  at  Fort  Lyon.  Colonel  J.  M.  Chivington  called  before  it,  in 
his  "  defence,"  all  the  witnesses  he  chose,  and  gave  notice  on 
the  seventy-third  day  of  the  commission's  sitting  that  he  did  not 
"wish  to  introduce  any  more  witnesses  for  the  defence."  He 
also  had  (and  used)  the  privilege  of  cross-examining  every  wit- 
ness called  by  the  commission.  The  evidence  given  before  this 
commission  occupies  over  two  hundred  pages  of  Volume  II. ,  Sen- 
ate Documents  for  1866-'67. 

In  reply  to  the  assertion  that  "  a  great  majority  of  the  savage 
atrocities  of  that  period  occurred  before  "  the  massacre  at  Sand 
Creek,  and  that  "  comparatively  few  occurred  after,"  I  will  give 
to  the  readers  of  The  Tribune  one  extract  from  the  report  of  the 
Indian  Peace  Commission  of  1868.  Alluding  to  the  Sand  Creek 
massacre,  the  report  says: 

"  It  scarcely  has  its  parallel  in  the  records  of  Indian  barbarity. 
Fleeing  women,  holding  up  their  hands  and  praying  for  mercy, 


were  shot  down  ;  infants  were  killed  and  scalped  in  derision  ; 
men  were  tortured  and  mutilated  in  a  manner  that  would  put  to 
shame  the  savages  of  interior  Africa.  No  one  will  be  astonished 
that  a  war  ensued  which  cost  the  Government  $30,000,000,  and 
carried  conflagration  and  death  into  the  border  settlements. 
During  the  spring  and  summer  of  1865  no  less  than  8000  troops 
were  withdrawn  from  the  effective  forces  engaged  in  the  Kebellion 
to  meet  this  Indian  war." 

The  Commissioners  who  made  this  report  were  N.  J.  Taylor, 
President;  J.  B.  Henderson,  John  B.  Sanborn,  William  T.  Sher- 
man, Lieutenant-general ;  William  S.  Harvey,  Brevet  Major-gen- 
eral; Alfred  H.  Terry,  Brevet  Major-general;  C.  C.  Augur,  Brevet 
Major-general;  S-  F.  Tappan. 

In  reply  to  the  assertion  that  the  Utes  have  not  "  either  bought 
or  paid  for  any  land,"  I  will  ask  such  of  The  Tribune  readers  as 
are  interested  in  the  subject  to  read  the  "Brunot  Treaty,"  made 
September  13th,  1873,  "between  Felix  R.  Brunot,  Commissioner 
for  the  United  States,  and  the  chiefs,  headmen,  and  men"  of  the 
seven  confederated  bands  of  Utes.  Tt  is  to  be  found  in  the  report 
of  the  Department  of  the  Interior  for  1873,  p.  454. 

In  conclusion  of  the  discussion  as  to  the  Sand  Creek  massacre, 
I  will  relate  one  more  incident  of  that  terrible  day.  It  has  not 
been  recorded  in  any  of  the  reports.  It  was  told  in  Colorado,  to 
one  of  the  members  of  the  Senate  Committee  at  the  time  of  their 
investigation  :  One  of  the  squaws  had  escaped  from  the  village, 
and  was  crouching  behind  some  low  sage  brush.  A  frightened 
horse  came  running  toward  her  hiding-place,  its  owner  in  hot 
pursuit.  Seeing  that  the  horse  was  making  directly  for  her  shel- 
ter, and  that  she  would  inevitably  be  seen,  and  thinking  that  pos- 
sibly if  she  caught  the  horse,  and  gave  him  back  to  the  owner, 
she  might  thus  save  her  life,  she  ran  after  the  horse,  caught  it, 
and  stood  holding  it  till  the  soldier  came  up.  Remembering  that 
with  her  blanket  rolled  tight  around  her  she  might  possibly  be 
taken  for  a  man,  as  she  put  into  the  soldier's  hand  the  horse's  bri- 
dle, with  the  other  hand  she  threw  open  her  blanket  enough  to 
show  her  bosom,  that  he  might  see  that  she  was  a  woman.  He 
put  the  muzzle  of  his  pistol  between  her  breasts  and  shot  her 
dead;  and  afterward  was  "  not  ashamed  "  to  boast  of  the  act.  It 
was  by  such  deeds  as  this  that  "the  Colorado  soldiers  acquitted 
themselves  well,  and  covered  themselves  with  glory."  H.  H. 

"New  York,  Feb.  28th,  1880. 



Extract  from  Treaty  with  the  Poncas,  giving  them  Dakota  Lands. 

"ART.  II. — In  consideration  of  the  cession  or  release  of  that 
portion  of  the  reservation  above  described  by  the  Ponca  tribe  of 
Indians  to  the  Government  of  the  United  States,  the  Government 
of  the  United  States,  by  way  of  rewarding  them  for  their  constant 
fidelity  to  the  Government  thereof,  and  with  a  view  of  returning 
to  the  said  tribe  of  Ponca  Indians  their  old  burying-grounds  and 
cornfields,  hereby  cede  and  relinquish  to  the  tribe  of  Ponca  In- 
dians the  following  described  fractional  townships,  to  wit,  town- 
ship thirty-one  (31),  north  range,  seven  (7)  west;  also  fractional 
township  thirty-two  (32),  north  ranges,  six  (6),  seven  (7),  eight  (8), 
nine  (9),  and  ten  (10)  west;  also  fractional  township  thirty-three 
(33),  north  ranges,  seven  (7)  and  eight  (8)  west;  and  also  all  that 
portion  of  township  thirty-three  (33),  north  ranges,  nine  (9)  and 
ten  (10)  west,  lying  south  of  Ponca  Creek ;  and  also  all  the  islands 
in  the  Niobrara  or  Kunning  Water  River  lying  in  front  of  lands 
or  townships  above  ceded  by  the  United  States  to  the  Ponca  tribe 
of  Indians." 

A  correspondence  which  was  held  with  the  Secretary  of  the 
Interior  in  the  winter  of  1879,  in  regard  to  the  Poncas,  is  so  ex- 
cellent an  illustration  of  the  methods  and  policy  of  the  Interior 
Department  that  it  is  worth  while  to  give  it  at  length  here. 


New  York,  Friday,  Jan,  9th,  1880. 
To  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior  : 

DEAR  SIR, — I  have  received  from  a  Boston  lady  a  letter  which 
has  so  important  a  bearing  on  the  interests  of  the  Poncas  that  I 
take  the  liberty  of  asking  you  to  read  and  reply  to  the  following 
extracts.  I  send  them  to  you  with  the  writer's  permission: 

"  In  Boston  most  of  those  who  are  likely  to  give  most  largely 
and  feel  most  strongly  for  the  Indians  have  confidence  in  Secre- 
tary Schurz.  They  think  that  so  far  he  has  shown  himself  their 
friend,  and  they  feel  unprepared  to  help  any  plan  with  regard  to 
the  Indians  which  he  opposes.  The  greatest  service  which  could 


be  rendered  to  the  Indian  cause  at  present  would  be  given,  there- 
fore, by  some  one  sufficiently  interested  to  obtain  an  answer  who 
would  write  to  Secretary  Schurz,  and  request  him,  on  the  part  of 
the  Indians,  either  to  aid  them  by  publicly  and  cordially  endors- 
ing this  effort  of  the  Poncas  to  secure  their  legal  rights  in  the 
courts,  or  else  to  give  his  reasons  against  this  attempt,  in  so  clear 
a  form  that  one  could  understand  them.  If  there  are  good  rea- 
sons, there  can  be  no  ground  for  keeping  them  secret,  and  the 
public  has  a  right  to  know  them.  If  not,  no  man  can  call  him- 
self a  friend  of  the  Indians  who  throws  cold  water  on  the  present 
interest  of  the  public  in  this  matter. 

"Secretary  Schurz  has  already  stated  that  it  was  not  worth 
while  to  sue  for  the  Ponca  lands,  as  the  Poncas  are  better  off 
where  they  now  are ;  but  Secretary  Schurz  cannot  deny  that  it  is 
worth  ten  times  $10,000  to  prove  that  if  the  Government  seizes 
land  given  to  the  Indians  forever  by  solemn  compact,  the  latter 
can  by  the  courts  recover  it.  Secretary  Schurz  has  also  said  that 
a  bill  to  give  the  Indians  land  in  severalty  is  already  before  Con- 
gress. If  he  wishes  that  bill  to  pass  he  must  know  that  it  is  only 
by  help  of  the  people  that  the  ignorance,  apathy,  and  greed  which 
are  accountable  for  the  shameful  record  of  the  past  can  be  over- 
come ;  and  that,  whatever  his  sentiments  toward  these  particular 
Poncas,  he  cannot  afford  to  throw  aside  the  interest  they  have 

"  For  a  hundred  years  the  Indians  have  been  the  victims  of 
fraud  and  oppression  on  the  part  of  the  Government.  Will  any- 
thing put  au  end  to  it  but  to  give  the  Indians  the  legal  right  to 
protect  themselves?  Promises  and  plans  will  not  do  it,  for  who 
can  assure  their  performance  ?  Secretary  Schurz's  position  is  a 
strange  one,  and  the  public  are  waiting  and  watching  to  see  what 
it  means.  Is  it  possible  that  he  is  satisfied  to  have  250,000  hu- 
man beings,  with  valuable  possessions  (however  uncivilized),  held 
as  absolute  slaves,  with  no  rights,  and  at  the  mercy  of  a  govern- 
ment like  ours,  whose  constant  changes,  to  say  the  least,  render 
most  improbable  the  wise,  equitable,  and  humane  treatment  he 
recommends  in  his  report— and  when  the  distance  of  the  Indian 
from  the  personal  interests  of  all  but  those  States  which  have  a 
personal  interest  in  possessing  his  lands  makes  the  assistance  of 
Congress  in  such  treatment  still  more  unlikely?  I  cannot  but 
believe  that  he  has  allowed  himself  to  be  driven  into  an  oppo- 
sition he  does  not  really  feel ;  and  that  he  will  yet  have  the 
magnanimity  to  forget  any  criticism  on  his  own  acts,  and  take 


the  lead  with  those  who  would  try  to  give  the  Indians  a  perma- 
nent defence  against  the  vicissitudes  of  party  and  the  greed  of 
mep,.  ^ 

""  1  will  not  forget  to  add  that  if  the  three  thousand  and  odd 
hundreds  of  dollars  needed  to  complete  the  ten  thousand  re- 
quired to  pay  the  costs  of  the  Ponca  suits  cannot  be  raised  in  the 
great  city  of  New  York,  I  will  myself  guarantee  to  raise  it  in  Bos- 
ton in  twenty-four  hours  if  Secretary  Schurz  will  openly  endorse 
the  plan." 

The  matter  stands,  therefore,  in  this  shape:  If  you  can  say  that 
you  approve  of  the  Poncas  bringing  the  suits  they  wish  to  bring 
for  the  recovery  of  their  lands,  all  the  money  for  which  they  ask 
can  be  placed  in  their  hands  immediately.  The  writer  of  the 
above  letter  assured  me  that  she  would  herself  give  the  entire 
sum  if  there  were  any  difficulty  in  raising  it.  If  you  do  not  ap- 
prove of  the  Poncas  bringing  these  suits,  or  making  an  effort  to 
bring  them,  are  you  willing  to  give  the  reasons  of  your  disap- 
proval? It  would  be  a  great  satisfaction  to  those  Boston  friends 
of  yours  whose  action  in  this  matter  tarns  solely  on  your  decision, 
if  these  reasons  could  be  stated  in  clear  and  explicit  form. 

Yours  respectfully,  HELEN  JACKSON. 

Department  of  the  Interior,  Office  of  the  Secretary,  Jan.  17th,  1880. 

DEAR  MADAM, — I  should  certainly  have  answered  your  letter 
of  the  9th  instant  more  promptly  had  I  not  been  somewhat  over- 
burdened with  official  business  during  the  past  week.  I  hope 
you  will  kindly  pardon  the  involuntary  delay. 

As  I  understand  the  matter,  money  is  being  collected  for  the 
purpose  of  engaging  counsel  to  appear  for  the  Poncas  in  the 
courts  of  the  United  States,  partly  to  represent  them  in  the  case  of 
an  appeal  from  Judge  Dundy's  habeas  corpus  decision,  and  partly 
to  procure  a  decision  for  the  recovery  of  their  old  reservation  on 
the  Missouri  Kiver.  I  believe  that  the  collection  of  money  for 
these  purposes  is  useless.  An  appeal  from  Judge  Dundy's  Tia- 
leas  corpus  decision  can  proceed  only  from  the  Government,  not 
from  the  Poncas,  for  the  simple  reason  that  the  decision  was  in 
favor  of  the  latter.  An  appeal  was,  indeed,  entered  by  the  United 
States  District- attorney  at  Omaha  immediately  after  the  decision 
had  been  announced.  Some  time  ago  his  brief  was  submitted  to 
me.  On  examining  it,  I  concluded  at  once  to  advise  the  attorney- 
general  of  my  opinion  that  it  should  be  dropped,  as  I  could  not 


approve  the  principles  upon  which  the  argument  was  based.  The 
attorney-general  consented  to  instruct  the  district-attorney  ac- 
cordingly, and  thus  Judge  Dundy's  decision  stands  without  fur- 
ther question  on  the  part  of  the  Government.  Had  an  appeal 
been  prosecuted,  and  had  Judge  Dundy's  decision  been  sustained 
by  the  court  above,  the  general  principles  involved  in  it  would 
simply  have  been  affirmed  without  any  other  practical  effect  than 
that  already  obtained.  This  matter  is  therefore  ended. 

As  to  the  right  of  the  Poncas  to  their  old  reservation  on  the 
Missouri,  the  Supreme  Court  has  repeatedly  decided  that  an  In- 
dian tribe  cannot  sue  the  United  States  or  a  State  in  the  federal 
courts.  The  decisions  are  clear  and  uniform  on  this  point. 
Among  lawyers  with  whom  I  discussed  this  matter,  I  have  not 
found  a  single  one  who  entertained  a  different  view ;  but  I  did 
find  among  them  serious  doubts  as  to  whether  a  decision,  even  if 
the  Poncas  could  bring  suits,  would  be  in  their  favor,  considering 
the  facts  in  the  case.  But,  inasmuch  as  such  a  suit  cannot  be 
brought  at  all,  this  is  not  the  question.  It  is  evidently  idle  to 
collect  money  and  to  fee  attorneys  for  the  purpose  of  doing  a 
thing  which  cannot  be  done.  Had  the  disinterested  friends  of 
the  Indians  who  are  engaged  in  this  work  first  consulted  lawyers 
on  the  question  of  possibility,  they  would  no  doubt  have  come  to 
the  same  conclusion. 

The  study  I  have  given  to  the  Indian  question  in  its  various 
aspects,  past  and  present,  has  produced  in  my  mind  the  firm  con- 
viction that  the  only  certain  way  to  secure  the  Indians  in  their 
possessions,  and  to  prevent  them  from  becoming  forever  a  race  of 
homeless  paupers  and  vagabonds,  is  to  transform  their  tribal  title 
into  individual  title,  inalienable  for  a  certain  period;  in  other 
words,  to  settle  them  in  severalty,  and  give  them  by  patent  an 
individual  fee-simple  in  their  lands.  Then  they  will  hold  their 
lands  by  the  same  title  by  which  white  men  hold  theirs,  and  they 
will,  as  a  matter  of  course,  have  the  same  standing  in  the  courts, 
and  the  same  legal  protection  of  their  property.  As  long  as  they 
hold  large  tracts  in  the  shape  of  reservations,  only  small  parts  of 
which  they  can  make  useful  to  themselves  and  to  others,  the 
whole  being  held  by  the  tribe  in  common,  their  tenure  will  al- 
ways be  insecure.  It  will  grow  more  and  more  so  as  our  popula- 
tion increases,  and  the  quantity  of  available  land  diminishes.  We 
may  call  this  an  ugly  and  deplorable  fact,  but  it  is  a  fact  for  all 
that.  Long  experience  shows  that  the  protests  of  good  people 
in  the  name  of  justice  and  humanity  have  availed  but  very  little 


against  this  tendency,  and  it  is  useless  to  disguise  and  unwise  to 
overlook  it,  if  we  mean  to  do  a  real  service  to  the  Titans. 

For  this  reason  I  attach  much  more  importance  to  the  passage 
of  legislation  providing  for  the  settlement  of  the  Indians  in  sever- 
alty,  and  giving  them  individual  title  in  fee-simple,  the  residue  of 
their  lands  not  occupied  by  them  to  be  disposed  of  for  their  ben- 
efit, than  to  all  the  efforts,  however  well  intended,  to  procure  ju- 
dicial decisions  which,  as  I  have  shown,  cannot  be  had.  I  am 
glad  to  say  that  the  conversations  I  have  had  with  senators  and 
representatives  in  Congress  on  the  policy  of  settling  the  Indians 
in  severalty  have  greatly  encouraged  my  hope  of  the  success  of 
the  "  severalty  bill  "  during  the  present  session. 

I  need  not  repeat  here  what  I  said  in  a  letter  to  Mr.  Edward 
Atkinson,  which  you  may  possibly  have  seen  some  time  ago  in 
the  Boston  papers,  about  the  necessity  of  educating  Indian  chil- 
dren. You  undoubtedly  understand  that  as  well  as  I  do,  and  I 
hope  you  will  concur  in  my  recommendation  that  the  money  col- 
lected for  taking  the  Ponca  case  into  the  courts,  which  is  impos- 
sible of  accomplishment,  and  as  much  more  as  can  be  added,  be 
devoted  to  the  support  and  enlargement  of  our  Indian  schools, 
such  as  those  at  Hampton  and  Carlisle.  Thus  a  movement  which 
undoubtedly  has  the  hearty  sympathy  of  many  good  men  and 
women,  but  which  at  present  seems  in  danger  of  being  wasted  on 
the  unattainable,  may  be  directed  into  a  practical  channel,  and 
confer  a  real  and  lasting  benefit  on  the  Indian  race. 

Very  respectfully  yours, 


Mrs.  HELEN  JACKSON,  New  York. 


Brevoort  House,  New  York,  Thursday,  Jan.  22d,  1880. 
Hon.  Carl  Schurz: 

DEAR  SIR,— Your  letter  of  the  17th  instant  is  at  hand.  If  I 
understand  this  letter  correctly,  the  position  which  you  take  is 
as  follows  :  That  there  is  in  your  opinion,  and  in  the  opinion  of 
the  lawyers  whom  you  have  consulted  on  the  subject,  no  way  of 
bringing  before  the  courts  the  suits  for  the  prosecution  of  which 
money  has  been  and  is  being  contributed  by  the  friends  of  the 
Poncas;  that  the  reason  you  do  not  approve  of  this  movement 
is  that  "  it  is  evidently  idle  to  collect  money  and  to  fee  attorneys 
for  the  purpose  of  doing  a  thing  which  cannot  be  done* "  This  is 


the  sole  reason  which  I  understand  you  to  give  for  discountenanc. 
ing  the  collection  of  money  for  these  suits.  Am  I  correct  in  this? 
And  are  we  to  infer  that  it  is  on  this  ground  and  no  other  that 
you  oppose  the  collection  of  money  for  this  purpose?  Are  we  to 
understand  that  you  would  be  in  favor  of  the  Poncas  recovering 
their  lands  by  process  of  law,  provided  it  were  practicable  ? 

You  say,  also,  that  you  hope  I  will  "  concur  "  in  your  "  recom- 
mendation that  the  money  collected  for  taking  the  Ponca  case 
into  the  courts  shall  be  devoted  to  the  support  and  enlargement 
of  our  Indian  schools."  May  I  ask  how  it  would  be,  in  your  opin- 
ion, possible  to  take  money  given  by  thousands  of  people  for  one 
specific  purpose  and  use  it  for  another  different  purpose?  You 
say*  "  Had  the  friends  of  the  Indians  who  are  engaged  in  this 
work  first  consulted  lawyers  on  the  question  of  possibility,  they 
would,  no  doubt,  have  come  to  the  same  conclusion."  Had  the 
friends  of  the  Indians  engaged  iu  this  work,  and  initiated  this 
movement  without  having  consulted  lawyers,  it  would  have  been 
indeed  foolish.  But  this  was  not  the  case.  Lawyers  of  skill  and 
standing  were  found  ready  to  undertake  the  case ;  and  the  mat- 
ter stands  therefore  to-day  precisely  as  it  stood  when  I  wrote  to 
you  on  the  17th  instant.  All  the  money  which  is  thought  to  be 
needed  for  carrying  the  Ponca  case  before  the  courts  can  be  raised 
in  twenty-four  hours  in  Boston,  if  you  can  say  that  you  approve 
of  the  suits  being  brought.  If  your  only  objection  to  the  move- 
ment is  the  one  objection  which  you  have  stated,  namely,  that  it 
would  be  futile,  can  you  not  say  that,  if  lawyers  of  standing  are 
ready  to  undertake  the  case,  you  would  be  glad  to  see  the  at- 
tempt made  in  the  courts,  and  the  question  settled?  If  it  is,  as 
you  think,  a  futile  effort,  it  will  be  shown  to  be  so.  If  it  is,  as  the 
friends  and  lawyers  of  the  Poncas  think,  a  practicable  thing,  a 
great  wrong  will  be  righted. 

You  say  that  "  to  settle  them  (the  Indians)  in  severalty,  and 
give  them  by  patent  an  individual  fee-simple  in  their  lands, "  will 
enable  them  to  "  hold  their  lands  by  the  same  title  by  which  white 
men  hold  theirs,"  and  that "  then  they  will,  as  a  matter  of  course, 
have  the  same  standing  in  the  courts  and  the  same  legal  protec- 
tion of  their  property."  May  I  ask  you  if  any  bill  has  been 
brought  before  Congress  which  is  so  worded  as  to  secure  these 
ends?  ^  My  only  apology  for  troubling  you  again  is  my  deep  in- 
terest in  the  Indians,  and  in  the  Ponca  case  especially. 

Yours  truly, 




Wasliington,  D.  C.,  Jan.  26th,  1880. 

DEAR  MADAM,— In  reply  to  your  letter  of  the  22d  instant,  I  beg 
leave  to  say  that  if  an  Indian  tribe  could  maintain  an  action  in 
the  courts  of  the  United  States  to  assert  its  rights,  I  should  ob- 
ject to  it  just  as  little  as  I  would  object  to  the  exercise  of  the 
same  privilege  on  the  part  of  white  men.  What  I  do  object  to  is 
the  collection  of  money  from  philanthropic  and  public-spirited 
persons,  ostensibly  for  the  benefit  of  the  Indians,  but  in  fact  for 
the  benefit  of  attorneys  and  others  who  are  to  be  paid  for  again 
testing  a  question  which  has  been  tested  more  than  once,  and  has 
been  decided  by  the  Supreme  Court  so  clearly  and  comprehen- 
sively that  further  testing  seems  utterly  futile.  You  say  that 
there  are  lawyers  of  skill  and  standing  ready  to  undertake  the 
case.  Of  course  there  are  such.  You  can  find  lawyers  of  skill 
and  standing  to  undertake  for  a  good  fee  any  case,  however  hope- 
less :  that  is  their  business.  But  I  am  by  no  means  of  your  opin- 
ion that,  whether  it  be  futile  or  not,  the  experiment  should  be 
tried  once  more,  and  for  this  purpose  the  collection  of  money 
should  be  further  encouraged.  It  cannot  be  said  in  this  case  that 
if  the  attempt  will  not  help  it  will  not  hurt.  There  seems  to  be 
now  a  genuine  and  active  interest  in  the  Indian  question  spring- 
ing up.  Many  sincere  friends  of  the  Indian  are  willing  to  spend 
time  and  money  for  the  promotion  of  their  welfare.  Such  a 
movement  can  do  great  good  if  wisely  guided  in  the  direction 
of  attainable  objects;  but  if  it  be  so  conducted  that  it  can  result 
only  in  putting  money  into  the  pockets  of  private  individuals, 
without  any  benefit  to  the  Indians,  the  collapse  will  be  as  hurtful 
as  it  seems  to  be  inevitable.  It  will  not  only  be  apt  to  end  a 
movement  which,  if  well  directed,  might  have  become  very  use- 
.  ful,  but  it  will  also  deter  the  sincere  friends  of  the  Indians  who 
contributed  their  means  in  the  hope  of  accomplishing  something 
from  further  efforts  of  that  kind,  so  that  we  may  find  it  very  diffi- 
cult, for  a  long  time  at  least,  to  engage  this  active  sympathy  again. 
Confidence  once  abused  does  not  revive  very  quickly.  This  is  my 
view  of  the  case.  You  ask  me  "  how  it  would  be  possible  to  take 
money  given  by  thousands  of  people  for  one  specific  purpose,  and 
use  it  for  another  and  different  purpose,"  meaning  the  support  of 
Indian  schools.  It  would,  in  my  opinion,  be  far  better  to  lay  the 
matter  in  its  true  aspect  frankly  before  the  contributors,  and  to 


ask  them  for  their  consent  to  the  change  of  purpose,  than  to  throw 
away  the  money  for  a  purpose  which  cannot  be  accomplished. 

In  reply  to  your  inquiry  whether  any  bill  has  been  brought  be- 
fore Congress  providing  for  the  settlement  of  the  Indians  in  sev- 
eralty,  and  for  conferring  upon  the  individual  title  in  fee-simple 
to  the  lands  allotted  to  them,  I  am  glad  to  say  that  several  bills 
of  this  kind  have  been  introduced  in  both  the  Senate  and  the 
House,  and  are  now  before  the  respective  committees  on  Indian 
affairs  for  consideration.  If  such  a  bill  passes,  of  which  there  is 
great  hope,  the  Indian,  having  a  fee  title  by  patent  to  the  piece 
of  land  which  he  individually,  not  as  a  member  of  a  tribe,  holds 
as  his  own,  will  stand  in  the  eye  of  the  law  just  like  any  other 
owner  of  property  in  his  individual  right,  and,  as  a  matter  of 
course,  will  have  the  same  standing  in  court.  This  will  do  more 
in  securing  the  Indian  in  the  practical  enjoyment  of  his  property 
than  anything  else  I  can  think  of,  and  it  has  long  been  my  en- 
deavor to  bring  about  just  this  result.  I  trust  we  shall  obtain 
the  desired  legislation  during  the  present  session  of  Congress. 
Very  respectfully  yours,  C.  SCHUBZ. 

Mrs.  HELEN  JACKSON,  New  York. 

The  evasive  and  inconclusive  character  of  these  replies  of  the 
Secretary  provoked  much  comment,  and  gave  rise  to  a  very  wide- 
spread and  natural  impression  that  he  was  for  some  reason  or 
other  averse  to  the  restoration  to  the  Poncas  of  their  old  homes. 
The  letters  were  reviewed  by  one  of  the  editors  of  the  New  York 
Times  in  a  paper  so  admirable  that  the  letters  ought  not  to  be 
printed  without  it. 

(From  the  New  York  Times,  February  21st,  3880.) 

"  As  most  of  the  readers  of  the  Times  already  know,  friends  of 
the  Potica  Indians  are  endeavoring  to  have  the  tribe  restored  to 
their  old  reservation  in  Dakota.  Or,  more  strictly  speaking,  it  is 
proposed  that  their  reservation  shall  be  restored  to  them.  The 
lands  occupied  by  the  Poncas  were  ceded  to  them  by  the  United 
States  by  solemn  treaty.  By  a  cruel  and  wicked  blunder,  which 
no  man  has  attempted  to  explain,  those  lands  were  ceded  to  the 
Sioux.  But  the  Sioux  did  not  want  the  lands,  and  they  have 
never  occupied  them  unto  this  day.  To  this  robbery  of  the  tribe 
was  added  the  destruction  of  their  houses,  movable  property,  and 
farms.  A  citizen  of  the  United  States  would  have  redress  in  the 


courts  for  such  an  outrage  as  this.  An  Indian  has  no  legal  status. 
He  is  merely  a  live  and  particularly  troublesome  animal,  in  the 
eye  of  the  law.  But,  while  the  Poncas  were  trying  to  get  hack 
on  their  lands,  they  were  arrested  hy  order  of  the  Secretary  of 
the  Interior,  on  the  charge  of  running  away  from  the  agency  to 
which  they  had  been  sent  by  the  Govern inent  when  their  lands 
were  taken  from  them.  It  is  not  necessary  to  add  words  to  in- 
tensify this  accumulation  of  criminal  folly  and  wrong.  Certain 
citizens  of  Nebraska,  hearing  of  the  injustice  which  was  be- 
ing perpetrated  on  the  Poncas,  raised  funds,  and  had  the  chiefs 
brought  before  United  States  District  Judge  Dundy  on  a  writ  of 
habeas  corpus^  to  inquire  why  they  were  thus  restrained  of  their 
liberty.  Judge  Dundy  decided  that  an  Indian  was  'a  person' 
within  the  meaning  of  the  Habeas  Corpus  Act,  and  that  these 
persons  were  unlawfully  held  in  duress. 

"It  was  thought  that  the  United  States  would  appeal  from 
this  dictum,  but  no  appeal  was  taken,  much  to  the  disappoint- 
ment of  the  friends  of  the  Indians,  as  it  was  hoped  that  a  decision 
could  be  reached  to  show  whether  the  Indian  was  or  was  not  so 
far  clothed  with  the  privilege  of  a  citizen  that  he  could  have  a 
standing  in  the  courts  of  law.  Accordingly,  the  public-spirited 
and  philanthropic  persons  who  had  espoused  the  cause  of  the 
Poncas  resolved  to  make  up  a  case,  which,  carried  to  the  United 
States  Supreme  Court,  should  determine  once  and  forever  this 
moot  point.  To  this  end  money  has  been  raised  by  subscription, 
by  special  gift,  and  by  contributions  taken  at  public  meetings  in 
various  parts  of  the  country.  A  lady  residing  in  Boston,  moved 
by  the  pitiful  condition  of  the  Indians,  who  tried  to  struggle  to- 
ward civilization,  offered  to  supply  all  the  money  which  was  lack- 
ing toward  the  expenses  of  the  suit,  provided  Secretary  Schurz 
would  give  some  public  assurances  that  he  favored  this  manner 
of  determining  the  case,  or  would  give  his  reasons  against  this 
attempt.  The  lady's  proposition  was  sent  to  Mrs.  Helen  Hunt 
Jackson,  whose  disinterested  and  efficient  labors  in  behalf  of  the 
deeply-wronged  Poncas  had  already  attracted  attention.  Mrs. 
Jackson  forwarded  to  Secretary  Schurz  the  whole  statement. 
Thereupon  an  interesting  correspondence  ensued.  This  corre- 
spondence has  been  printed  in  the  Boston  papers,  presumably  by 
direction  of  Secretary  Schurz. 

"In  reply  to  the  request  to  say  whether  he  approres  of  the 
movement  to  carry  the  Ponca  case  to  the  Supreme  Court,  in  order 
that  the  tribe  may  recover  their  old  reservation,  the  Secretary 


says  that  this  would  be  useless,  as  the  courts  have  repeatedly  de- 
cided that  an  Indian  tribe  cannot  sue  the  United  States.  Unfort- 
unately, Mr.  Schurz  does  not  cite  these  cases,  but  we  must  take 
it  for  granted  that  he  knows  what  he  is  talking  about.  He  adds ' 
that  he  has  taken  the  advice  of  lawyers,  who  coincide  with  him 
in  this  opinion.  As  a  suit  cannot  be  brought  at  all,  according  to 
the  Secretary  and  his  legal  advisers,  it  would  be  idle  to  collect 
money  for  this  purpose;  and  the  Secretary  suggests  that,  if  the 
disinterested  friends  of  the  Indians  had  consulted  lawyers  before 
they  began  their  work,  they  would  be  of  his  opinion  as  to  the 
futility  of  the  attempt.  This,  of  course,  leaves  the  impression 
that  the  Secretary  withholds  his  approval  of  the  movement  to 
secure  legal  rights  for  the  Poncas,  though  he  does  not  say  so  in 
express  terms.  His  reason  for  not  approving  the  attempt  is  that 
it  will  do  no  good.  His  solution  to  the  Indian  problem,  as  it  is 
vaguely  called,  is  to  settle  the  Indians  in  severalty,  breaking  up 
their  tribal  organization,  and-  giving  to  each  individual  his  lands 
in  fee-simple.  This,  the  Secretary  thinks,  will  enable  them  to 
hold  their  lands  by  the  same  title  as  that  by  which  white  men 
hold  theirs,  and,  *  as  a  matter  of  course,  they  will  have  the  same 
standing  in  the  courts'  as  white  men.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that 
the  Secretary  did  not  pause  here  long  enough  to  show  how  the 
giving  to  an  Indian  of  160  acres  of  land  can  clothe  him  with  civil 
rights  which  he  does  not  now  possess,  and  which  the  Secretary 
thinks  that  the  courts  cannot  give  him.  For  this  reason,  however, 
Mr.  Schurz  is  greatly  in  favor  of  legislation  providing  for  the  set- 
tlement of  the  Indians  in  severalty,  various  bills  to  accomplish 
which,  he  says,  are  in  preparation.  As  for  the  money  raised 
already,  the  Secretary  suggests  that  since,  in  his  opinion,  it  would 
be  misspent  in  obtaining  judicial  decision,  it  might  be  used  in  the 
education  of  Indian  children. 

"  Replying  to  this,  Mrs.  Jackson  asks  if  the  Secretary  would  be 
in  favor  of  the  Poncas  recovering  their  lands  by  process  of  law, 
provided  that  could  be  done.  To  this  direct  and  very  important 
inquiry  we  regret  to  notice  that  the  Secretary  finds  himself  un- 
able to  reply,  although,  in  a  letter  immediately  following  this,  he 
does  say  that  if  an  Indian  tribe  could  maintain  an  action  at  law  in 
the  courts  to  assert  its  rights,  he  would  no  more  object  to  it  than 
he  would  to  a  white  man's  doing  the  same  thing.  As  to  the  sug- 
gestion that  the  money  collected  for  the  expenses  of  legal  proceed- 
ings be  used  for  educational  purposes,  Mrs.  Jackson  asks  tlie 
Secretary  how  it  would  be  possible  to  take  money  given  for  one 


specmc  purpose  and  use  it  for  another  and  wholly  different  pur- 
pose. Mr.  Schurz  rejoins  that  the  consent  of  the  donors  may 
first  be  obtained;  but  he  forgets  that  it  would  be  impossible 
to  canvass  the  country  to  ascertain  the  wishes  of  thousands  of 
unknown  givers  to  this  fund.  Referring  to  the  intimatioa  that 
the  friends  of  the  Indians  had  not  taken  legal  counsel  in  this 
matter,  and  that  the  Secretary  had,  Mrs.  Jackson  observes  that 
they  did  take  such  counsel,  and  that  an  omission  to  do  so  would 
have  been  indeed  foolish. 

"  It  will  be  observed  that  the  Secretary's  objection  to  the  at- 
tempt to  secure  civil  rights  is  its  futility;  and,  in  answer  to  Mrs. 
Jackson's  statement  that  the  friends  of  the  Indians  have  sought 
the  opinions  of  lawyers  in  this  case,  he  replies  that  one  «  can  find 
lawyers  of  skill  and  standing  to  undertake,  for  a  good  fee,  any 
case,  however  hopeless.'  To  those  who  might  think  that  this  is 
unjustly  severe  on  the  legal  profession,  it  should  be  said  that  Mr 
Schurz  has  been  by  profession  a  lawyer,  and  should  know  what 
he  is  talking  about.  And  we  must  presume  that  Mr.  Schurz's 
profound  knowledge  of  the  law,  which  is  fortified  by  the  opinions 
of  eminent  legal  men,  induces  him  to  consider  the  whole  case 
closed  in  advance  of  its  submission  to  the  courts.  It  would  be 
interesting,  however,  to  know  if  the  Secretary's  lawyers  of  skill 
and  standing  are  less  easily  influenced  by  the  prospect  of  a  *  good 
fee'  than  the  lawyers  of  skill  and  standing  consulted  by  the 
friends  of  the  Poncas.  The  exceedingly  able  opinion  of  Secre- 
tary Schurz,  we  find,  is  that  it  is  useless  to  give  the  Indian  a 
standing  in  the  courts  through  judicial  decisions,  as  he  can 
readily  secure  this  by  accepting  from  the  Government  of  the 
United  States  a  deed  of  160  acres  of  land." 


Standing  Bear  and  his  party,  after  their  release  by  the  deci- 
sion of  Judge  Dandy,  settled  on  an  island  in  the  Niobrara  River, 
which  was  a  part  of  their  old  reservation,  and  had  fortunately 
been  overlooked  when  the  United  States  Government  took  forci- 
ble possession  of  the  rest  of  their  land  and  presented  it  to  the 
Sioux.  Here  they  were  joined  by  other  fugitives  of  their  tribe 
till  the  number  reached  about  one  hundred  and  thirty.  A  com- 
mittee which  had  been  organized  in  Omaha  for  their  relief 
supplied  them  with  fanning  implements,  and  they  went  indus- 
triously to  work.  This  committee  published  in  July,  1880,  a 
report  containing  the  following  paragraphs: 



"  We  consider  the  treatment  of  the  Ponca  Indians  as  one  of  the 
most  heart-sickening  chapters  in  our  national  record  of  Indian 
\vrongs,  and  we  are  determined  to  spare  no  effort  to  restore  to 
them  their  stolen  homes  and  rights,  and  to  relieve  the  American 
people  of  the  stigma  of  this  terrible  -wrong. 

"The  Senate  of  the  United  States  during  the  past  winter 
appointed  a  select  committee  '  to  ascertain  and  report  the  cir- 
cumstances of  the  removal  of  the  Ponca  Indians  from  their  res- 
ervation, and  whether  the  said  Indians  are  not  entitled  to  be 
restored  thereto.'  This  Senate  Committee  devoted  a  long  time  to 
a  thorough  and  patient  investigation  of  this  whole  Ponca  case, 
and  reported  that  the  Poncas  had  been  *  forced,  without  authority 
of  law,  from  their  homes  to  the  Indian  Territory,'  and  reported  also 
a  bill  for  their  restoration  to  their  former  reservation,  and  recom- 
mending 'that  150,000  be  appropriated  for  the  purpose  of  taking 
the  Poncas  back,  and  restoring  their  now  dilapidated  homes.' 

"This  able  report  of  the  United  States  Senate  says  that  'in 
dealing  with  one  of  the  most  peaceable  and  orderly  and  well- 
disposed  of  all  the  tribes  of  Indians,  the  Government  has  violated 
in  the  most  flagrant  manner  their  rights  of  property,  and  disre* 
garded  their  appeals  to  the  honor  and  justice  of  the  United  States,, 
and  the  dictates  of  humanity.' " 

The  report  also  says  that  "  the  committee  can  find  no  language 
sufficiently  strong  to  condemn  the  whole  proceeding,  and  trace 
to  it  all  the  troubles  which  have  come  upon  the  Poncas,  and  the 
hardships  and  sufferings  which  have  followed  them  since  they 
were  taken  from  their  old  reservation  and  placed  in  their  present 
position  in  the  Indian  Territory." 

The  Omaha  Ponca  Relief  Committee  need  no  better  vindica- 
tion of  their  action  in  behalf  of  this  distressed  and  outraged 
people  than  these  strong  and  weighty  words  of  a  committee  of 
United  States  Senators,  composed  of  representative  men  of  both 
political  parties. 

The  Omaha  Committee  consisted  of  Bishop  Clarkson,  of  Ne- 
braska, chairman;  Rev.  A.  F.  Sherrill,  Rev.  W.  I.  Harsha,  Leavitt 
Burnham,  W.  M.  Yates,  and  P.  L.  Perine. 

At  the  request  of  this  committee,  Mr.  T.  H.  Tibbies  in  June 
went  to  the  Indian  Territory  to  visit  the  Poncas  (of  whom  only 
about  400  were  left  alive).  He  was  authorized  "  to  assure  them 
of  the  interest  and  efforts  of  humane  people  all  over  the  country 
in  their  behalf,  and  to  notify  them  that  the  Omaha  Committee 
were  ready  to  assist  them  in  any  practical  way  to  return  to  theii 


old  homes,  from  which  they  had  been  unjustly  and  inhumanly 

Mr.  Tibbies  succeeded  in  visiting  the  Poncas,  although  the 
Government  agent  interfered  with  him  in  many  ways,  and  finally 
arrested  him  by  authority  of  an  order  from  Washington  to  arrest 
any  member  of  the  Omaha  Committee  who  came  upon  the  reser- 
vation. He  was  insulted  by  the  agent,  taken  by  force  out  of  the 
reservation,  and  threatened  with  much  more  severe  treatment  if 
he  ever  returned. 

This  high-handed  outrage  on  a  free  citizen  of  the  United  States 
aroused  indignation  throughout  the  country.  The  comments  of 
the  Press  on  the  occurrence  showed  that  people  were  at  last 
waking  up  to  a  sense  of  the  tyrannical  injustice  of  the  Indian 
Department.  The  New  York  Tribune  said,  editorially: 

«*  The  Indian  Department  may  as  well  understand  at  once  that 
the  Ponca  case  has  passed  out  of  their  control.  It  is  a  matter  of 
simple  justice  which  the  people  are  determined  to  see  righted. 
*  *  *  No  petty  Indian  agent  has  the  legal  right  to  imprison,  mal- 
treat, and  threaten  the  life  of  any  citizen  totally  guiltless  of 
offence  beyond  that  of  working  to  give  these  serfs  of  the  Gov- 
ernment the  standing  of  human  beings.  *  *  *  It  is  the  Govern- 
ment of  this  great  Republic,  where  all  men  are  free  and  equal, 
that  holds  these  Poncas  prisoners  on  a  tract  where  to  remain  is 
death.  They  are  innocent  of  any  crime  except  that  they  have 
been  robbed  of  their  land,  and  that  they  ask  to  bring  suit,  as  a 
black  man  or  convict  could  do,  in  the  courts  for  its  recovery." 

Mr.  Tibbies  reported  the  condition  of  the  Poncas  in  Indian 
Territory  as  "  deplorable  in  the  extreme.  They  live  in  constant 
dread  and  fear,  and  are  as  much  imprisoned  as  if  they  were  in  a 
penitentiary."  They  seem  "to  have  lost  all  hope,  are  broken- 
hearted and  disconsolate.  With  one  or  two  exceptions,  they  are 
making  no  effort  to  help  themselves.  Their  so-called  farms  are 
miserable  little  patches,  to  which  they  pay  very  little  attention. 
One  of  them  said  to  me,  *  If  the  Government  forces  me  to  stay 
here,  it  can  feed  me.  I  had  a  good  farm  back  at  our  old  home, 
and  if  I  was  back  there  I  would  farm  again ;  I  have  no  heart  to 
work  here.'  The  one  hundred  and  fifteen  who  are  back  on  the 
old  reservation  have  a  much  larger  amount  of  land  under  culti- 
vation than  the  whole  four  hundred  who  are  in  Indian  Territory. 
They  have  kept  their  crops  in  good  condition,  and  are  full  of 
energy  and  hope." 

The  Government  Agency  for  the  Poncas  having  been  trans* 


ferred  to  the  Indian  Territory,  the  annuities  due  the  tribe  were 
of  course  paid  there,  and  that  portion  of  the  tribe  -which  had  fled 
back  to  Dakota  received  nothing.  Moreover,  the  Indian  Bureau 
issued  an  order  forbidding  any  Ponca  who  should  leave  the  In- 
dian Territory  to  take  with  him  any  kind  of  property  whatsoever, 
under  penalty  of  being  arrested  for  stealing.  As  they  could 
not  take  their  families  on  the  long,  hard  journey  to  Dakota 
without  food  or  means  of  transportation,  this  order  kept  them 
imprisoned  in  Indian  Territory  as  effectually  as  a  military  guard 
could  have  done. 

The  Government  employe's  in  charge  of  them  reported,  mean- 
while, that  they  had  «•  made  up  their  minds  to  live  and  die  where 
they  are.  *  *  *  There  exists  a  feeling  of  contentment  in  the  tribe 
that  will  make  it  very  difficult  for  any  one  to  induce  them  to  leave 
their  present  home,"  says  a  general  press  despatch,  presumably 
dictated  by  the  Indian  Bureau,  and  sent  throughout  the  country 
on  July  loth. 

It  seems  an  insult  to  people's  common-sense  to  suppose  that 
this  statement  would  be  believed,  close  on  the  heels  of  the  general 
order  for  the  arrest  of  all  fleeing  Poncas  who  should  dare  to  take 
with  them  out  of  the  Indian  Territory  one  dollar's  worth  of  prop- 
erty. A  very  superfluous  piece  of  legislation,  surely,  for  a  com- 
munity so  "  contented  "  that  it  would  be  "  difficult  for  any  one  to 
induce  them  to  leave  their  homes." 


The  chivalric  and  disinterested  attorneys  who  had  had  the 
charge  of  the  Ponca  case  from  the  outset,  were  not  to  be  intimi- 
dated by  the  threats  nor  outwitted  by  the  expedients  of  the  In- 
dian Bureau.  The  ingenious  devices  practised  by  the  Depart- 
ment of  the  Interior  to  hinder  the  getting  service  of  summons 
upon  the  defendants  in  the  suits  necessary  to  recover  the  Poncas* 
lands,  make  by  themselves  a  shameful  chapter,  which  will  some 
day  be  written  out.  But  on  the  13th  of  July  the  attorneys  were 
able  to  report  to  the  Omaha  Committee  as  follows  : 


Omaba,  July  13th,  1880. 
To  Omaha  Ponca  Indian  Committee : 

In  response  to  the  inquiry  of  one  of  your  members  as  to  the 
condition  of  the  suits  instituted  by  us  to  liberate  Standing  Bear 
and  his  associate  from  the  custody  of  the  military,  and  to  re- 


cover  possession  of  the  Ponca  reservation,  we  make  the  following 

On  April  8th,  1879,  was  filed  by  us  the  petition  in  the  case  of 
United  States  ex  reL  Ma-chu-nah-zha  (Standing  Bear)  et  al.  vs. 
George  Crook,  a  Brigadier-general  of  the  Army  of  the  United 
States  and  Commander  of  the  Department  of  the  Platte,  in  the 
U.S.  District  Court  for  the  District  of  Nebraska,  for  a  writ  of 
habeas  corpus  for  the  release  of  Standing  Bear  and  his  companions. 
This  cause  was  tried  about  the  first  of  May,  1879,  and  Standing 
Bear  and  his  companions  were  restored  to  their  liberty.  There- 
upon the  U.  S.  District-attorney  took  the  case  to  the  United 
States  Circuit  Court  for  this  District  by  appeal,  and  about  May 
19th,  upon  hearing  before  Mr.  Justice  Miller,  Associate  Justice  of 
the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States,  was  there  continued,  and 
on  January  5th,  1880,  the  appeal  was  dismissed  on  the  motion  of 
the  U.  S.  IMstrict-attorney. 

On  April  3d,  1880,  was  commenced  by  us  the  case  of  Ponca 
tribe  of  Indians  vs.  Makh-pi-ah-lu-ta,  or  Red  Cloud,  in  his  own 
behalf,  and  in  behalf  of  the  Sioux  nation  of  Indians,  in  the  U.  S. 
Circuit  Court  for  the  District  of  Nebraska,  and  on  May  18th, 
1880,  we  commenced  in  the  same  court  the  case  of  Ponca  tribe 
of  Indians  vs.  Sioux  nation  of  Indians.  These  cases  were^  com- 
menced, and  are  being  prosecuted  by  us,  to  recover  possession  of 
and  establish  the  title  of  the  Ponca  tribe  of  Indians  to  so  much 
of  their  old  reservation  as  lies  within  the  limits  of  Nebraska. 
Great  delay  was  made  necessary  in  the  commencement  of  these 
cases,  and  the  ones  subsequently  commenced  in  Dakota,  of  which 
we  below  make  mention,  owing  to  difficulties  in  getting  service 
of  summons  upon  the  defendants.  On  May  22d,  1880,  service  of 
summons  was  had  on  the  defendants  in  both  cases,  and  some 
action  will  be  taken  therein  at  the  next  term  of  the  court. 

About  the  20th  of  May,  1880,  there  were  commenced  in  Da- 
kota other  suits  in  the  name  of  the  Ponca  tribe  of  Indians,  and 
against  the  Sioux  nation  of  Indians,  and  against  certain  of  their 
chiefs,  to  settle  and  establish  the  title  of  the  Ponca  tribe  of  In- 
dians to  so  much  of  their  old  reservation  as  lies  within  the  limits 
of  Dakota.  Service  has  been  had  in  these  cases,  and  the  several 
suits  mentioned  will  be  prosecuted  by  us  with  all  convenient 

We  might  add  that  we  also  have  in  charge  the  case  of  John 
Elk  vs.  Charles  Wilkins,  in  the  U.  S.  Circuit  Court  for  this  Dis- 
trict, which  is  being  prosecuted  by  us  to  determine  the  rights  of 


Indians  under  the  Fourteenth  Amendment  of  the  Constitution  of 
the  United  States.  Kespectfully  submitted, 





"  EARLY  in  1800  the  Governor  of  the  North-west  Territory,  in  his 
message  to  the  assembly,  invited  their  attention  to  the  condition 
of  the  Indians.  lie  observed  that,  irrespective  of  the  principles 
of  religion  and  justice,  it  was  the  interest  and  should  be  the  pol- 
icy of  the  United  States  to  be  at  peace  with  them ;  but  that  could 
not  continue  to  be  the  case  if  the  treaties  existing  between  them 
and  the  Government  were  broken  with  impunity  by  the  inhabi- 
tants of  the  Territory.  He  referred  to  the  well-known  fact  that 
while  the  white  men  loudly  complained  of  every  injury  commit- 
ted by  the  Indians,  however  trifling,  and  demanded  immediate 
reparation,  they  were  daily  perpetrating  against  them  injuries 
and  wrongs  of  the  most  provoking  and  atrocious  nature,  for 
which  the  perpetrators  had  not  been  brought  to  justice.*  *  *  He 
stated  that  the  number  of  those  unfortunate  people  who  had  been 
murdered  since  the  peace  of  Greenville  was  sufficient  to  produce 
serious  alarm  for  the  consequences.  He  added,  further,  that  a 
late  attempt  to  bring  to  punishment  a  white  man,  who  was  clearly 
proved  to  have  killed  two  adult  Indians  and  wounded  two  of 
their  children,  had  proved  abortive."— BURNET'S  Notes  on  North- 
west Territory. 


"  Among  other  falsehoods  it  has  been  asserted  confidently,  but 
without  a  shadow  of  argument  or  fact  to  sustain  the  assertion, 
that  they  cannot  be  brought  to  a  state  of  civilization,  or  be  in- 
duced to  form  communities  and  engage  in  the  pursuits  of  agri- 
culture and  the  arts,  in  consequence  of  some  physical  difference 
between  them  and  the  Anglo-Saxon  race.  This  hypothesis  is 
contradicted  by  experience,  which  has  abundantly  shown  that  the 
two  races,  when  placed  in  the  same  situation,  and  acted  upon  by 
the  same  causes,  have  invariably  resorted  to  the  same  expedients 
and  pursued  the  same  policy. 


"  This  ayerment  is  sustained  by  a  reference  to  the  white  people 
who  have  been  taken  prisoners  in  childhood  and  brought  up 
among  the  Indians.  In  every  such  case  the  child  of  civilization 
has  become  the  ferocious  adult  of  the  forest,  manifesting  all  the 
peculiarities,  tastes,  and  preferences  of  the  native  Indian.  His 
manners,  habits,  propensities,  and  pursuits  have  been  the  same, 
so  that  the  most  astute  philosophical  observer  has  not  been  able 
to  discover  any  difference  between  them,  except  in  the  color  of 
the  skin,  and  in  some  instances  even  this  has  been  removed  by 
long  exposure  to  the-elements,  and  the  free  use  of  oils  and  paints." 

The  many  instances  which  there  are  on  record  of  cases  in 
which  persons  taken  captive  by  the  Indians,  while  young,  have 
utterly  refused  in  later  life  to  return  to  their  relatives  and  homes, 
go  to  confirm  this  statement  of  Judge  Bui-net's. 

On  the  other  hand,  he  says:  "  The  attempts  that  have  been 
made  at  different  times  to  improve  the  minds  and  cultivate  the 
morals  of  these  people  have  always  been  attended  by  success. 

"  On  an  unprejudiced  comparison  between  the  civilized  edu- 
cated white  man  and  the  civilized  educated  Indian,  all  this  the- 
ory of  an  organic  constitutional  difference  between  the  European 
and  the  native  Indian  vanishes. 

«'  In  what  respect  have  Ross,  Boudinot,  Hicks,  Ridge,  and  oth- 
ers differed  from  the  educated  men  of  our  own  race?  Inasmuch 
then  as  the  reclaimed  educated  Indian  becomes  assimilated  to  the 
white  man,  and  the  European  brought  up  from  infancy  among 
the  Indians  becomes  identified  with  them,  this  alleged  difference 
cannot  be  real,  it  must  be  imaginary. 

"  The  fact  is,  the  difiiculty  of  civilizing  the  natives  of  this  con- 
tinent is  neither  greater  nor  less  than  that  which  retarded  the 
improvement  of  the  barbarous  nations  of  Europe  two  thousand 
years  ago.  *  *  *  Men  uncivilized  have  always  delighted  in  the 
chase,  and  had  a  propensity  to  roam;  both  history  and  expe- 
rience prove  that  nothing  but  necessity,  arising  from  such  an  in- 
crease of  population  as  destroys  the  game,  has  ever  induced  men 
to  settle  in  communities,  and  rely  on  the  cultivation  of  the  earth 
for  subsistence.  In  the  progress  of  civilization  the  chase  has 
given  way  to  the  pastoral  state,  and  that  has  yielded  to  agricult- 
ure as  the  increase  of  numbers  has  rendered  it  necessary. 

"  As  soon  as  the  Cherokees  and  the  "Wyandots  were  surrounded 
by  a  white  population,  and  their  territory  was  so  contracted  as 
to  cut  off  their  dependence  on  hunting  and  fishing,  they  became 
farmers,  and  manifested  a  strong  desire  to  cultivate  the  arts;  and 


this  would  have  been  the  choice  of  the  whole  Indian  race  if  the 
policy  of  the  Government  had  permitted  it! 

"  It  is  not  just  to  consider  the  natives  of  this  country  as  a  dis- 
tinct and  inferior  race  because  they  do  not  generally  imitate  us, 
when  we  not  only  remove  every  consideration  that  could  induce 
them  to  do  so,  but  in  fact  render  it  impossible.  What  motive 
of  ambition  was  there  to  stimulate  them  to  effort,  when  they  were 
made  to  feel  that  they  held  their  country  as  tenants  at  will,  liable 
to  be  driven  of:  at  the  pleasure  of  their  oppressors? 

"  As  soon  as  they  were  brought  to  a  situation  in  which  neces- 
sity prompted  them  to  industry,  and  induced  them  to  begin  to 
adopt  our  manners  and  habits  of  life,  the  covetous  eye  of  the 
white  man  was  fixed  on  their  incipient  improvements,  and  they 
received  the  chilling  notice  that  they  must  look  elsewhere  for 
permanent  homes. 

"  At  the  time  our  settlements  were  commencing  north-west  of 
the  Ohio,  the  Indians  were  its  acknowledged  owners  and  sover- 
eigns ;  the  Government  claimed  no  right  either  of  occupancy  or 
soil,  except  as  they  obtained  it  by  purchase." 

(On  the  31st  of  July,  1793,  the  United  States  Commissioners  said 
to  the  assembled  chiefs  of  the  North-western  tribes,  in  a  council 
held  at  the  home  of  one  Captain  Elliott,  on  the  Detroit  River : 
"  By  the  express  authority  of  the  President  of  the  United  States, 
we  acknowledge  the  property,  or  right  of  soil  to  the  great  coun- 
try above  described,  to  be  in  the  Indian  nations  as  long  as  they 
desire  to  occupy  it;  we  claim  only  the  tracts  before  particularly 
mentioned,  and  the  right  of  pre-emption  granted  by  the  King,  as 
before  explained.") 

"  The  entire  country  from  Pennsylvania  to  the  Mississippi  was 
admitted  to  be  theirs,  and  a  more  delightful,  fertile  valley  cannot 
be  found  on  the  earth.  *  *  * 

"  Unconscious  of  the  ruinous  consequences  that  were  to  follow 
their  intimacy  with  white  men,  they  ceded  to  the  American  Gov- 
ernment large  and  valuable  portions  of  the  country  at  nominal 
prices.  Those  lands  were  rapidly  settled  by  Americans,  in  whose 
purity  and  friendship  the  unsuspecting  natives  had  great  confi- 
dence; nor  did  they  awake  from  that  delusion  tiU  their  habits  of 
sobriety  and  morality  had  been  undermined,  and  the  vices  en- 
gendered by  intemperance  and  idleness  had  contaminated  every 
tribe.  *  *  * 

"  Their  subsistence  became  precarious;  their  health  declined; 
their  self-respect,  their  dignity  of  character,  and  the  heroism  in- 


herited  from  their  ancestors  were  lost.  They  became  In  their  own 
estimation  a  degraded,  dependent  race.  The  Government,  avail- 
ing itself  of  their  weakness  and  want  of  energy,  succeeded  by 
bribes  and  menaces  in.  obtaining  the  best  portions  of  their  coun- 
try, and  eventually  in  driving  them  from  the  land  of  their  birth 
to  a  distant  home  in  an  unknown  region. 

"  This  distressing  chapter  of  aboriginal  history  began  at  the 
treaty  of  Greenville,  in  1795,  and  terminated  in  less  than  fifty 
years.  The  writer  of  these  notes  witnessed  its  commencement, 
progress,  and  close." — BURNET'S  Notes  on  North-west  Territory. 


"  They  were  friendly  in  their  dispositions,  and  honest  to  the 
most  scrupulous  degree  in  their  intercourse  with  the  white  men. 
*  #  *  Simply  to  call  these  people  religious  would  convey  but  a  faint 
idea  of  the  deep  hue  of  piety  and  devotion  which  pervades  the 
whole  of  their  conduct.  Their  honesty  is  immaculate;  and  their 
purity  of  purpose  and  their  observance  of  the  rites  of  their  relig- 
ion are  most  uniform  and  remarkable.  They  are  certainly  more 
like  a  nation  of  saints  than  a  horde  of  savages." — CAPTAIN  BONNE- 
VILLE'S  Narrative,  revised  by  W.  IRVING. 

"  I  fearlessly  assert  to  the  world,  and  I  defy  contradiction,  that 
the  North  American  Indian  is  everywhere  in  his  native  state  a 
highly  moral  and  religious  being,  endowed  by  his  Maker  with  an 
intuitive  knowledge  of  some  great  Author  of  his  being  and  the 
universe— in  dread  of  whose  displeasure  he  constantly  lives  with 
the  apprehension  before  him  of  a  future  state,  when  he  expects 
to  be  rewarded  or  punished  according  to  the  merits  he  has  gained 
or  forfeited  in  this  world. 

"I  never  saw  any  other  people  who  spend  so  much  of  their 
lives  in  humbling  themselves  before  and  worshipping  the  Great 
Spirit  as  these  tribes  do,  nor  any  whom  I  would  not  as  soon  sus- 
pect of  insincerity  and  hypocrisy. 

"  Self-denial  and  self-torture,  and  almost  self-immolation,  are 
continual  modes  of  appealing  to  the  Great  Spirit  for  his  counte- 
nance and  forgiveness. 

"  To  each  other  I  have  found  these  people  kind  and  honorable, 
and  endowed  with  eveiy  feeling  of  parental,  filial,  and  conjugal 
affection  that  is  met  with  in  more  enlightened  communities." — 
CATLIN'S  North  American  Indians. 

Mr.  Catlin  spent  eight  years  among  the  Indians  more  than 
forty  years  ago.  He  travelled  among  the  wildest  of  them,  lived 



with  them  in  the  freest  intimacy,  and  this  is  his  verdict  as  to  their 
native  traits,  when  uncontaminated  by  white  men  and  whiskey. 

*  As  long  ago  as  1724,  the  Jesuit  Father  Lafitau  wrote  of  the 
Indians,  and  stated  that  to  his  own  experience  he  added  that  of 
Father  Gamier,  who  had  lived  sixty  years  among  them:  "They 
are  possessed, ".says  he,  "  of  sound  judgment,  lively  imagination, 
ready  conception,  and  wonderful  memory.  All  the  tribes  retain 
at  least  some  trace  of  an  ancient  religion,  handed  down  to  them 
from  their  ancestors,  and  a  form  of  government.  They  reflect 
justly  upon  their  affairs,  and  better  than  the  mass  of  the  people 
among  ourselves.  They  prosecute  their  ends  by  sure  means; 
they  evince  a  degree  of  coolness  and  composure  which  would 
exceed  our  patience;  they  never  permit  themselves  to  indulge 
in  passion,  but  always,  from  a  sense  of  honor  and  greatness  of 
soul,  appear  masters  of  themselves.  They  are  high-minded  and 
proud;  possess  a  courage  equal  to  every  trial,  an  intrepid  valor, 
the  most  heroic  constancy  under  torments,  and  an  equanimity 
which  neither  misfortunes  nor  reverses  can  shake.  Toward  each 
other  they  behave  with  a  natural  politeness  and  attention,  enter- 
taining a  high  respect  for  the  aged,  and  a  consideration  for  their 
equals  which  appears  scarcely  reconcilable  with  that  freedom  and 
independence  of  which  they  are  so  jealous.  They  make  few  pro; 
fessions  of  kindness,  but  yet  are  affable  and  generous.  Toward 
strangers  and  the  unfortunate  they  exercise  a  degree  of  hospi- 
tality and  charity  which  might  put  the  inhabitants  of  Europe  to 
the  blush." 

Father  Lafitau  does  not  disguise  the  fact  that  the  Indians  have 
great  faults.  He  says  they  are  "  suspicious  and  vindictive,  cruel 
to  their  enemies." 

Pere  Lallemant,  a  missionary  among  the  Hurons,  says:  "In 
point  of  intellect  they  are  not  at  all  inferior  to  the  natives  of 
Europe ;  I  could  not  have  believed  that,  without  instruction,  na- 
ture could  have  produced  such  ready  and  vigorous  eloquence,  or 
such  a  sound  judgment  in  their  affairs  as  that  which  I  have  so 
much  admired  among  the  Hurons.  I  admit  that  their  habits  and 
customs  are  barbarous  in  a  thousand  ways;  but,  after  all,  in  mat- 
ters which  they  consider  as  wrong,  and  which  their  public  con- 
demns, we  observe  among  them  less  criminality  than  in  France, 
although  here  the  only  punishment  of  a  crime  is  the  shame  of 
having  committed  it." 

In  a  history  of  New  France,  published  in  1618,  it  is  stated  of 
the  Indians  that  "  they  are  valorous,  faithful,  generous,  and  hu- 


mane;  their  hospitality  is  so  great  that  they  extend  it  to  every 
one  who  is  not  their  enemy.  They  speak  with  much  judgment 
and  reason,  and,  when  they  have  any  important  enterprise  to  un- 
dertake, the  chief  is  attentively  listened  to  for  two  or  three  hours 
together,  and  he  is  answered  point  to  point,  as  the  subject  may 

In  1656  the  Jesuit  missionaries  among  the  Iroquois  reported: 
"  Among  many  faults  caused  by  their  blindness  and  barbarous 
education,  we  meet  with  virtues  enough  to  cause  shame  among 
the  most  of  Christians.  Hospitals  for  the  poor  would  be  useless 
among  them,  because  there  are  no  beggars ;  those  who  have  are 
so  liberal  to  those  who  are  in  want,  that  everything  is  enjoyed 
in  common.  The  whole  village  must  be  in  distress  before  any 
individual  is  left  in  necessity." 

Captain  Carver,  who  travelled  in  1766  among  the  wildest  tribes, 
describes  them  as  "  cruel,  barbarous,  and  revengeful  in  war,  per- 
severing and  inflexible  in  pursuit  of  an  enemy,  sanguinary  in  their 
treatment  of  prisoners,  and  sparing  neither  age  nor  sex."  On  the 
other  hand,  he  found  them  temperate  in  their  mode  of  living,  pa- 
tient of  hunger  and  fatigue,  sociable  and  humane  to  all  whom 
they  looked  on  as  friends,  and  ready  to  share  with  them  the  last 
morsel  of  food  they  possessed,  or  to  expose  their  lives  in  their  de- 
fence. In  their  public  character  he  describes  them  as  "  possess- 
ing an  attachment  to  their  nation  unknown  to  the  inhabitants  of 
any  other  country,  combining  as  if  actuated  by  one  soul  against 
a  common  enemy,  never  swayed  in  their  councils  by  selfish  or 
party  views,  but  sacrificing  everything  to  the  honor  and  advan- 
tage of  their  tribe,  in  support  of  which  they  fear  no  danger,  and 
are  affected  by  no  sufferings.  They  are  not  only  affectionately 
attached,  indeed,  to  their  own  offspring,  but  are  extremely  fond 
of  children  in  general.  They  instruct  them  carefully  in  their  own 
principles,  and  train  them  up  with  attention  in  the  maxims  and 
habits  of  their  nation.  Their  system  consists  chiefly  in  the  influ- 
ence of  example,  and  impressing  on  them  the  traditionary  his- 
tories of  their  ancestors.  When  the  children  act  wrong,  their 
parents  remonstrate  and  reprimand  but  never  chastise  them." — 
HALKETT'S  Hist.  Notes. 

The  very  idea  of  corporal  punishment  of  little  children  seems 
to  have  been  peculiarly  obnoxious  to  the  native  North  American. 
In  the  "  Relation  de  Nbuvelle  France,"  published  in  1633,  there 
is  a  curious  story  of  an  incident  which  took  place  at  Quebec.  A 
party  of  Indians,  watching  a  French  drummer-boy  beat  his  drum, 


pressed  more  closely  around  him.  than  he  liked,  and  he  struck  one 
of  the  Indians  in  the  face  with  his  drum-stick  so  sharply  that  the 
blow  drew  blood.  The  Indians,  much  offended,  went  to  the  in- 
terpreter and  demanded  apologies  and  a  present,  according  to 
their  custom.  "No,"  said  the  interpreter,  "our  custom  is  to 
punish  the  offender;  we  will  punish  the  boy  in  your  presence." 
When  the  Indians  saw  the  child  stripped  for  the  flogging  they 
began  immediately  to  beg  for  his  pardon ;  but  as  the  soldiers  con- 
tinued their  preparations  for  whipping  the  lad,  one  of  the  In- 
dians suddenly  stripped  himself  and  threw  his  robe  over  the  boy, 
crying  out,  "  Scourge  me,  if  you  choose,  but  do  not  strike  the 
boy  I  "  The  good  Father  Le  Jeune,  who  tells  this  story,  adds  that 
this  unwillingness  of  the  Indians  to  see  any  child  chastised  "  will 
probably  occasion  trouble  to  us  in  the  design  we  have  to  instruct 
their  youth." 

As  far  back  as  1587  we  find  evidence  that  the  Indians  were 
not  without  religion.  Thomas  Hariot,  an  employd  of  Sir  Walter 
Raleigh's,  writing  from  the  Virginia  colony,  says  of  the  Virginia 
Indians:  "  Theye  beleeve  that  there  are  many  gods,  which  theye 
call  Mantaoc,  but  of  different  sorts  and  degrees;  one  onely  chief 
and  Great  God,  which  hath  been  from  all  eternitie;  who,  as  theye 
affirme,  wben  hee  proposed  to  make  the  world,  made  first  other 
gods  of  a  principall  order,  to  bee  as  means  and  instruments  to 
bee  used  in  the  creation  and  government  to  folow;  and  after  the 
sunne,  moone,  and  starres  as  pettie  gods,  and  the  instruments  of 
the  other  order  more  principall." 

"In  general,"  says  Hunter,  "a  day  seldom  passes  with  an 
elderly  Indian,  or  others  who  are  esteemed  wise  and  good,  in 
which  a  blessing  is  not  asked,  or  thanks  returned  to  the  Giver 
of  Life,  sometimes  audibly,  but  more  generally  in  the  devotional 
language  of  the  heart." 

All  the  employe's  of  the  North-west  Fur  Company  bear  the 
same  testimony  to  the  fidelity  and  honesty  of  the  Indians. 

General  H.  Sibley  once  said  to  Bishop  Whipple  that  for  thirty 
years  it  had  been  the  uniform  boast  of  the  Sioux  in  every  council 
that  they  had  never  taken  the  life  of  a  white  man. 




IN  Captain  Bonneville's  narrative  of  five  years  spent  in  the 
Rocky  Mountains  are  many  instances  of  cruel  outrages  committed 
by  whites  upon  Indians. 

"  One  morning  one  of  his  trappers,  discovering  that  his  traps 
had  been  carried  off  in  the  night,  took  a  horrid  oath  that  he 
would  kill  the  first  Indian  he  should  meet,  innocent  or  guilty. 
As  he  was  returning  with  his  comrades  to  camp,  he  beheld  two 
unfortunate  Root  Diggers  seated  on  the  bank,  fishing;  advancing 
upon  them,  he  levelled  his  rifle,  shot  one  on  the  spot,  and  flung 
his  bleeding  body  into  the  stream. 

"A  short  time  afterward,  when  this  party  of  trappers  were 
about  to  cross  Ogden's  River,  a  great  number  of  Shoshokies,  or 
Root  Diggers,  were  posted  on  the  opposite  bank,  when  they  im- 
agined they  were  there  with  hostile  intent;  they  advanced  upon 
them,  levelled  their  rifles,  and  killed  twenty-five  of  them  on  the 
spot.  The  rest  fled  to  a  short  distance,  then  halted  and  turned 
about,  howling  and  whining  like  wolves,  and  uttering  most  pit- 
eous wailings.  The  trappers  chased  them  in  every  direction. 
The  poor  wretches  made  no  defence,  but  fled  in  terror ;  nor  does 
it  appear  from  the  accounts  of  the  boasted  victors  that  a  weapon 
had  been  wielded  by  the  Indians  throughout  the  affair." 

There  seemed  to  be  an  emulation  among  these  trappers  which 
could  inflict  the  greatest  outrages  on  the  natives.  They  chased 
them  at  full  speed,  lassoed  them  like  cattle,  and  dragged  them  till 
they  were  dead. 

At  one  time,  when  some  horses  had  been  stolen  by  the  .Ric« 
carees,  this  same  party  of  trappers  took  two  Riccaree  Indians 
prisoners,  and  declared  that,  unless  the  tribe  restored  every  horse 
that  had  been  stolen,  these  two  Indians,  who  had  strayed  into  the 
trappers'  camp  without  any  knowledge  of  the  offence  committed, 
should  be  burnt  to  death. 

"To  give  force  to  their  threat,  a  pyre  of  logs  and  fagots  was 
heaped  up  and  kindled  into  a  blaze.  The  Riccarees  released  one 
horse  and  then  another;  but,  finding  that  nothing  but  the  relin- 
quishment  of  all  their  spoils  would  purchase  the  lives  of  the  cap- 
tives, they  abandoned  them  to  their  fate,  moving  off  with  many 
parting  words  and  howlings,  when  the  prisoners  were  dragged  to 


the  blazing  pyre  and  burnt  to  death  in  sight  of  their  retreating 

"  Such  are  the  acts  that  lead  to  terrible  recriminations  on  the 
part  of  the  Indians.  Individual  cases  of  the  kind  dwell  in  the 
recollections  of  whole  tribes,  and  it  is  a  point  of  honor  and  con- 
science to  avenge  them. 

"  The  records  of  the  wars  between  the  early  settlers  of  Virginia 
and  New  England  and  the  natives  exhibit  cruelties  on  both  sides 
that  make  one  shudder.  *  *  *  When  the  Indian  would  tear  the 
scalp  from  the  crown  of  the  scarcely  yet  dead  victim,  and  muti- 
late the  body,  could  he  be  expected  to  reform  those  cruelties 
when  he  saw  the  white  man  in  his  turn  cut  off  the  heads  of  his 
people,  and  mutilate  and  quarter  their  bodies,  as  was  done  with 
King  Philip's,  whose  head,  after  being  cut  off,  was  sent  to  Plym- 
outh and  hung  up  there  on  a  gibbet,  where  it  remained  twenty 
years,  while  one  of  his  hands  was  sent  to  Boston  as  a  trophy,  his 
body  being  quartered  and  hung  upon  four  trees?  "— M'FORLEY'S 
History  and  Travels. 


"  Port  Orford,  Oregon  Territory,  February  5th,  1854. 

"I  grieve  to  report  to  you  that  a  most  horrid  massacre,  or 
rather  an  out-and-out  barbarous  murder,  was  perpetrated  on  a 
portion  of  the  Nason  tribe,  residing  at  the  mouth  of  the  Coquille 
River,  on  the  morning  of  the  28th  of  January  last,  by  a  party  of 
forty  miners.  Before  giving  you  the  result  of  my  examination 
and  my  own  conclusions,  I  will  give  you  the  reasons  which  that 
party  assign  in  justification  of  their  acts. 

"  They  avow  that,  for  some  time  past,  the  Indians  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Coquille  have  been  insolent ;  that  they  have  been  in  the 
habit  of  riding  the  horses  of  white  men  without  permission ;  that 
of  late  they  have  committed  many  thefts,  such  as  stealing  paddles 
and  many  other  articles  the  property  of  white  men;  that  one  of 
their  number  recently  discharged  his  gun  at  the  ferry-house;  and 
that  but  a  few  days  prior  to  the  attack  on  the  Indians,  the  chief, 
on  leaving  the  ferry-house,  where  he  had  just  been  fed,  fired  his 
gun  at  a  party  of  four  white  men  standing  near  the  door  of  the 
house.  They  further  state  that,  on  the  27th  of  January,  they  sent 
for  the  chief  to  come  in  for  a  talk ;  that  he  not  only  refused  to 
come  in,  but  sent  back  word  that  he  would  kill  white  men  if  they 
came  to  his  home;  that  he  meant  to  kill  all  the  white  men  he 
could;  that  he  was  determined  to  drive  the  white  men  out  of  his 


country;  that  he  would  kill  the  men  at  the  ferry,  and  burn  their 
houses.  Immediately  after  this  conversation  with  the  chief,  the 
white  men  at  and  near  the  ferry-house  assembled,  and  deliberated 
on  the  necessity  of  an  immediate  attack  on  the  Indians. 

"  The  result  of  their  deliberation,  with  the  full  proceedings  of 
their  meeting,  is  herein  enclosed.  At  the  conclusion,  a  courier 
was  despatched  to  the  upper  mines  for  assistance.  A  party  of 
about  twenty  responded  to  the  call,  and  arrived  at  the  ferry-house 
on  the  evening  preceding  the  morning  of  the  massacre.  On  the 
arrival  of  this  re-enforcement  the  proceedings  of  the  meeting  first 
held  were  reconsidered,  and  unanimously  approved. 

"  At  the  dawn  of  day  on  the  morning  of  the  28th  of  January 
the  party  of  the  ferry,  joined  by  about  twenty  men  from  the  upper 
mines,  organized,  and,  in  three  detachments,  marched  upon  the 
Indian  ranches,  and  consummated  a  most  inhuman  slaughter.  A 
full  account  of  what  they  term  '  a  fight '  you  will  find  in  the  re- 
port which  their  captain,  George  H.  Abbott,  forwarded  to  me  on 
the  day  of  the  massacre. 

"  The  Indians  were  roused  from  sleep  to  meet  their  death,  with 
but  feeble  show  of  resistance.  They  were  shot  down  as  they  were 
attempting  to  escape  from  their  houses;  fifteen  men  and  one 
squaw  killed;  two  squaws  badly  wounded.  On  the  part  of  the 
white  men,  not  even  the  slightest  wound  was  received.  The 
houses  of  the  Indians,  with  but  one  exception,  were  fired,  and  en- 
tirely destroyed.  Thus  was  committed  a  massacre  too  inhuman 
to  be  readily  believed.  Now  for  my  examination  of  this  horrid 

"  On  the  morning  of  the  29th  of  January  I  left  Port  Orford  for 
the  Coquille.  We  arrived  at  the  ferry-house  early  in  the  evening 
of  that  day.  Early  in  the  morning  of  the  day  after  my  arrival  I 
sent  for  the  chief,  who  immediately  came  in,  attended  by  about 
thirty  of  his  people.  The  chief,  as  well  as  his  people,  was  so 
greatly  alarmed — apparently  apprehensive  that  the  white  men 
would  kill  them  even  in  my  presence — that  it  was  with  a  good 
deal  of  difficulty  that  I  could  induce  him  to  express  his  mind 
freely.  He  seemed  only  anxious  to  stipulate  for  peace  and  the 
future  safety  of  his  people;  and  to  procure  this  he  was  willing  to 
accept  any  terms  that  I  might  dictate.  The  chief  was  evidently 
afraid  to  complain  of  or  censure  the  slaughterers  of  his  tribe,  and 
for  a  time  replied  to  all  the  charges  made  against  him  with  hesi- 
tancy. After  repeated  assurances  of  protection,  he  finally  answered 
to  the  point  every  interrogatory.  I  asked  him  if  he  had  at  any 


time  fired  at  the  man  at  the  ferry-house.  '  ]STo ! '  was  his  prompt 
reply.  At  the  time  he  was  said  to  have  fired  at  the  white  man, 
he  declared  with  great  earnestness  that  he  shot  at  a  duck  in  the 
river,  at  a  distance  of  some  two  hundred  yards  from  the  ferry- 
house,  when  on  his  way  home,  aud  possibly  the  ball  of  his  gun 
might  have  bounded  from  the  water.  My  subsequent  observation 
of  the  course  of  the  river,  and  the  point  from  which  he  was  said 
to  have  fired,  convinced  me  that  his  statement  was  entitled  to  the 
fullest  credit.  His  statement  is  confirmed  by  the  doubt  expressed 
by  one  of  the  party  at  whom  he  was  said  to  have  fired. 

"  The  white  men  making  the  accusation  only  heard  the  whiz- 
zing of  a  bullet.  This  was  the  only  evidence  adduced  in  proof  of 
the  chief  having  fired  at  them.  I  asked  the  chief  if  he,  or  if  to  his 
knowledge  any  of  his  people,  had  ever  fired  at  the  ferry-house.  To 
this  he  answered, '  No.'  He  most  emphatically  denied  ever  send- 
ing threatening  language  to  the  men  at  the  ferry,  but  admitted 
that  some  of  his  people  had.  He  also  admitted  that  some  of  his 
tribe  had  stolen  from  white  men,  and  that  they  had  used  their 
horses  without  permission.  He  did  not  deny  that  his  heart  had 
been  bad  toward  white  men,  and  that  he  had  hoped  they  would 
leave  his  country.  He  promised  to  do  all  I  required  of  him.  If  I 
desired,  he  said  he  would  leave  the  home  of  his  fathers  and  take 
his  people  to  the  mountains;  but,  with  my  permission  and  protec- 
tion, he  would  prefer  remaining  in  the  present  home  of  his  people. 

"  Everything  I  asked  or  required  of  him  he  readily  assented 
to,  promising  most  solemnly  to  maintain  on  his  part  permanent 
friendly  relations  with  white  men.  My  interview  with  the  tribe 
occupied  about  two  hours.  During  the  entire  council  they  lis- 
tened with  most  profound  attention,  evidently  being  determined 
to  fasten  on  their  minds  all  that  fell  from  my  lips.  At  the  con- 
clusion of  the  council  I  requested  the  chief  to  send  for  all  the 
guns  and  pistols  in  the  possession  of  his  men.  You  will  be  sur- 
prised when  I  tell  you  that  all  the  guns  and  pistols  in  the  hands 
of  the  Indians  at  the  ranches  amounted  to  just  five  pieces,  two  of 
which  were  unserviceable;  as  to  powder  and  ball,  I  do  not  believe 
they  had  five  rounds.  Does  this  look  like  being  prepared  for 
war  ?  Can  any  sane  man  believe  those  Indians,  numbering  not 
over  seventy-five,  all  told,  including  women  and  children,  had  con- 
cocted a  plan  to  expel  from  their  country  some  three  hundred 
whites?  Such  a  conclusion  is  too  preposterous  to  be  entertained 
for  a  moment.  There  was  no  necessity  for  resorting  to  such  ex- 
treme measures.  I  regard  the  murder  of  those  Indians  as  one  of 


the  most  barbarous  acts  ever  perpetrated  by  civilized  men.  But 
what  can  be  done?  The  leaders  of  the  party  cannot  be  arrested, 
though  justice  loudly  demands  their  punishment.  Here  we  have 
not  even  a  justice  of  the  peace ;  and  as  to  the  military  force 
garrisoned  at  Fort  Orford,  it  consists  of  four  men.  If  such  mur- 
derous assaults  are  to  be  continued,  there  will  be  no  end  of  Indian 
war  in  Oregon."— F.  M.  SMITH,  Sub- A  gent. 

The  Simon  Kenton  referred  to  in  the  following  narrative  was 
an  experienced  Indian  fighter,  and  commanded  a  regiment  in  the 
war  of  1812. 

"In  the  course  of  the  war  of  1812  a  plan  was  formed  by  some 
of  the  militia  stationed  at  Urbana,  Ohio,  to  attack  an  encampment 
of  friendly  Indians,  who  had  been  threatened  by  the  hostile  tribes, 
and  were  invited  to  remove  with  their  families  within  our  fron- 
tier settlements  as  a  place  of  safety,  under  an  assurance  that  they 
should  be  protected.  Kenton  remonstrated  against  the  move- 
ment as  being  not  only  mutinous,  but  treacherous  and  cowardly. 
He  vindicated  the  Indian  character  against  the  false  charges 
which  were  alleged  in  justification  of  the  outrage  they  were 
about  to  perpetrate,  and  warned  them  against  the  infamy  they 
would  incur  by  destroying  a  defenceless  band  of  men,  women, 
and  children,  who  had  been  induced  to  place  themselves  in  their 
power  by  a  solemn  promise  of  protection. 

"  He  appealed  to  their  humanity,  their  honor,  and  their  duty  as 
soldiers.  He  contrasted  his  knowledge  of  the  character  of  those 
unfortunate  people  with  their  ignorance  of  it.  He  told  them  that 
he  had  endured  suffering  and  torture  at  their  hands  again  and 
again,  but  that  it  was  in  time  of  war,  when  they  were  defending 
their  wives  and  children,  and  when  he  was  seeking  to  destroy 
and  exterminate  them;  and  that,  under  those  circumstances,  he 
had  no  right  to  complain,  and  never  did  complain.  But,  said  he, 
in  time  of  peace  they  have  always  been  kind,  faithful  friends,  and 
generous,  trustworthy  men. 

"  Having  exhausted  the  means  of  persuasion  without  effect,  and 
finding  them  still  resolved  on  executing  their  purpose,  he  took  a 
rifle  and  called  on  them  to  proceed  at  once  to  the  execution  of  the 
foul  deed— declaring  with  great  firmness  that  he  would  accom- 
pany them  to  the  encampment,  and  shoot  down  the  first  man  who 
attempted  to  molest  it.  '  My  life, '  said  he, «  is  drawing  to  a  close : 
what  remains  of  it  is  not  worth  much;,'  but,  much  or  little,  he  was 
resolved  that,  if  they  entered  the  Indian  camp,  it  should  be  done 
by  passing  over  his  corpse.  Knowing  that  the  old  veteran  would 


fulfil  his  promise,  their  hearts  failed  them;  not  one  ventured  to 
take  the  lead;  their  purpose  was  abandoned,  and  the  Indians  were 
saved." — BURNET  on  the  North-west  Territory. 




THE  commission  consisted  of  Brigadier-general  Terry,  Hon.  A. 
G.  Lawrence,  and  Colonel  Corbin,  secretary.  After  one  month's 
journey,  via  Omaha,  Nebraska,  Helena,  Montana,  and  Fort  Ben- 
ton,  these  gentlemen  were  met  on  the  Canadian  boundary  by  a 
Canadian  officer  with  a  mounted  escort,  who  conducted  them  to 
Fort  Walsh,  when  they  were  met  by  Sitting  Bull  and  the  other 

General  Terry  recapitulated  to  them  the  advantages  of  being  at 
peace  with  the  United  States,  the  kindly  treatment  that  all 
surrendered  prisoners  had  received,  and  said:  "  The  President 
invites  you  to  come  to  the  boundary  of  his  and  your  country,  and 
there  give  up  your  arms  and  ammunition,  and  thence  to  go  to  the 
agencies  to  which  he  will  assign  you,  and  there  give  up  your 
horses,  excepting  those  which  are  required  for  peace  purposes. 
Your  arms  and  horses  will  then  be  sold,  and  with  all  the  money 
obtained  for  them  cows  will  be  bought  and  sent  to  you." 

It  is  mortifying  to  think  that  representatives  of  the  United 
States  should  have  been  compelled  gravely  to  submit  in  a  formal 
council  proposals  so  ludicrous  as  these.  .  The  Indians  must  have 
been  totally  without  sense  of  humor  if  they  could  have  listened 
to  them  without  laughter.  Sitting  Bull's  reply  is  worthy  of  being 
put  on  record  among  the  notable  protests  of  Indian  chiefs  against 
the  oppressions  of  their  race. 

He  said:  "For  sixty-four  years  you  have  kept  me  and  my  peo- 
ple, and  treated  us  bad.  What  have  we  done  that  you  should 
want  us  to  stop?  We  have  done  nothing.  It  is  all  the  people 
on  your  side  that  have  started  us  to  do  all  these  depredations. 
We  could  not  go  anywhere  else,  and  so  we  took  refuge  in  this 
country.  *  *  *  I  would  like  to  know  why  you  came  here.  In  the 
first  place  I  did  not  give  you  the  country ;  but  you  followed  me 
from  one  place  to  another,  so  I  had  to  leave  and  come  over  to 


this  country.  *  *  *  You  have  got  ears,  and  you  have  got  eyes  to 
see  with  them,  and  you  see  how  I  live  with  these  people.  You 
see  me.  Here  I  am.  If  you  think  I  am  a  fool,  you  are  a  bigger 
fool  than  I  am.  This  house  is  a  medicine  house.  You  come  here 
to  tell  us  lies,  but  we  don't  want  to  hear  them.  I  don't  wish  any 
such  language  used  to  me — that  is,  to  tell  me  lies  in  my  Great 
Mother's  house.  This  country  is  mine,  and  I  intend  to  stay  here 
and  to  raise  this  country  full  of  grown  people.  See  these  people 
here.  We  were  raised  with  them  "  (again  shaking  hands  with  the 
British  officers).  "  That  is  enough,  so  no  more.  *  *  *  The  part  of 
the  country  you  gave  me  you  ran  me  out  of .  *  *  *  I  wish  you  to 
go  back,  and  to  take  it  easy  going  back." 

The-one-that-runs-the-Ree,  a  Santee  chief ,  said:  "You  did  n't 
treat  us  well,  and  I  don't  like  you  at  all.  *  *  *  I  will  be  at  peace 
with  these  people  as  long  as  I  live.  This  country  is  ours.  We 
did  not  give  it  to  you.  You  stole  it  away  from  us.  You  have 
come  over  here  to  tell  us  lies,  and  I  don't  propose  to  talk  much, 
and  that  is  all  I  have  to  say.  I  want  you  to  take  it  easy  going 
home.  Don't  go  in  a  rush." 

Nine,  a  Yankton,  said:  "  Sixty-four  years  ago  you  got  our 
country,  and  you  promised  to  take  good  care  of  us  and  keep  us. 
You  ran  from  one  place  to  another  killing  us  and  ffghting  us.*  *  * 
You  did  not  treat  us  right  over  there,  so  we  came  back  over  here. 
*  *  *  I  come  in  to  these  people  here,  and  they  give  me  permission  to 
trade  with  the  traders.  That  is  the  way  I  make  my  living.  Every- 
thing I  get  I  buy  from  the  traders.  I  don't  steal  anything.*  *  * 
I  am  going  to  live  with  these  people  here." 

So  profound  a  contempt  did  the  Indians  feel  for  this  commis- 
sion that  they  allowed  a  squaw  to  address  it. 

A  squaw,  named  The-one-that-speaks-once,  wife  of  The-man- 
that-scatters-the-bear,  said:  "  I  was  over  at  your  country.  I 
wanted  to  raise  my  children  there,  but  you  did  not  give  me  any 
time.  I  came  over  to  this  country  to  raise  my  children,  and  have 
a  little  peace  "  (shaking  hands  with  the  British  officers) ;  "  that  is 
all  I  have  to  say  to  you.  I  want  you  to  go  back  where  you  came 
from.  These  are  the  people  that  I  am  going  to  stay  with  and 
raise  my  children  with." 

The  Indians  having  risen,  being  apparently  about  to  leave  the 
room,  the  interpreter  was  directed  to  ask  the  following  questions: 
"  Shall  I  say  to  the  President  that  you  refuse  the  offers  that  he 
has  made  to  you  ?  Are  we  to  understand  that  you  refuse  those 
offers  ?  "  Sitting  Bull  answered:  "  I  could  tell  you  more,  but  that 


is  all  I  have  to  tell.  If  we  told  you  more,  you  would  not  pay 
any  attention  to  it.  This  part  of  the  country  does  not  belong  to 
your  people.  You  belong  on  the  other  side,  this  side  belongs 
to  us." 

The  Crow,  shaking  hands,  and  embracing  Colonel  McLeod,  and 
shaking  hands  with  the  other  British  officers,  said  :  "  This  is  the 
way  I  will  live  in  this  part  of  the  country.  *  *  *  These  people  that 
don't  hide  anything,  they  are  all  the  people  I  like.  *  *  *  Sixty-four 
years  ago  I  shook  hands  with  the  soldiers,  and  ever  since  that  I 
have  had  hardships.  I  made  peace  with  them;  and  ever  since 
then  I  have  been  running  from  one  place  to  another  to  keep  out 
of  their  way.  *  *  *  Go  to  where  you  were  born,  and  stay  there.  I 
came  over  to  this  country,  and  my  Great  Mother  knows  all  about 
it.  She  knows  I  came  over  here,  and  she  don't  wish  anything  of 
me.  We  think,  and  all  the  women  in  the  camp  think,  we  are 
going  to  have  the  country  full  of  people.  *  *  *  I  have  come  back 
in  this  part  of  the  country  again  to  have  plenty  more  people,  to 
live  in  peace,  and  raise  children." 

The  Indians  then  inquired  whether  the  commission  had  any- 
thing more  to  say,  and  the  commission  answered  that  they  had 
nothing  more  to  say,  and  the  conference  closed. 

The  commission,  with  a  naive  lack  of  comprehension  of  the 
true  situation  of  the  case,  go  on  to  say  that  "  they  are  convinced 
that  Sitting  Bull  and  the  bands  under  him  will  not  seek  to  re- 
turn to  this  country  at  present.  It  is  believed  that  they  are  re- 
strained from  returning,"  partly  by  their  recollection  of  the  severe 
handling  they  had  by  the  military  forces  of  the  United  States  in 
the  last  winter  and  spring,  and  partly  "  by  their  belief  that,  for 
some  reason  which  they  cannot  fathom,  the  Government  of  the 
United  States  earnestly  desires  that  they  shall  return.  *  *  *  In 
their  intense  hostility  to  our  Government,  they  are  determined  to 
contravene  its  wishes  to  the  best  of  their  ability."  It  would  seem 
so— even  to  the  extent  of  foregoing  all  the  privileges  offered 
them  on  their  return — the  giving  up  of  all  weapons— the  exchang- 
ing of  their  horses  for  cows — and  the  priceless  privilege  of  being 
shut  up  on  reservations,  off  which  they  could  not  go  without  be- 
ing pursued,  arrested,  and  brought  back  by  troops.  What  a  depth 
of  malignity  must  be  in  the  breasts  of  these  Indians,  that  to  grat- 
ify it  they  will  voluntarily  relinquish  all  these  benefits,  and  con- 
tinue to  remain  in  a  country  where  they  must  continue  to  hunt, 
and  make  their  own  living  on  the  unjust  plan  of  free  trade  in 
open  markets  1 





CLAIMS  had  been  set  up  by  the  Indian  traders  for  $400,000  of 
the  money  promised  to  the  Sioux  by  the  treaties  of  1851  and 
1852.  The  Indians  declared  that  they  did  not  owe  so  much. 
Governor  Eamsey  endeavored  to  compel  Red  Iron  to  sign  a  re- 
ceipt for  it;  he  refused.  He  said  his  tribe  had  never  had  the 
goods.  He  asked  the  governor  to  appoint  arbitrators — two  white 
men  and  one  Indian ;  it  was  refused.  He  then  said  that  he  would 
accept  three  white  men  as  arbitrators,  if  they  were  honest  men: 
this  was  refused. 

An  eye-witness  has  sketched  the  appearance  of  the  chief  on 
that  occasion,  and  the  interview  between  him  and  the  governor  : 
The  council  was  crowded  with  Indians  and  white  men  when 
Red  Iron  was  brought  in,  guarded  by  soldiers.  He  was  about 
forty  years  old,  tall  and  athletic;  about  six  feet  high  in  his  moc- 
casins, with  a  large,  well-developed  head,  aquiline  nose,  thin  com- 
pressed lips,  and  physiognomy  beaming  with  intelligence  and 
resolution.  He  was  clad  in  the  half-military,  half-Indian  costume 
of  the  Dakota  chiefs.  He  was  seated  in  the  council-room  without 
greeting  or  salutation  from  any  one.  In  a  few  minutes  the  gov- 
ernor, turning  to  the  chief  in  the  midst  of  a  breathless  silence,  by 
the  aid  of  an  interpreter,  opened  the  council. 

Governor  Ramsey  asked  :  "  What  excuse  have  you  for  not  com- 
ing to  the  council  when  I  sent  for  you  ?  " 

The  chief  rose  to  his  feet  with  native  grace  and  dignity,  his 
blanket  falling  from  his  shoulders,  and  purposely  dropping  the 
pipe  of  peace,  he  stood  erect  before  the  governor  with  Ms  arms 
folded,  and  right  hand  pressed  on  the  sheath  of  his  scalping- 
knif e ;  with  firm  voice  he  replied  : 

"  I  started  to  come,  but  your  braves  drove  me  back." 

Gov.  "  What  excuse  have  you  for  not  coming  the  second  time 
I  sent  for  you  ?  " 

Red  Iron.  "  No  other  excuse  than  I  have  given  you." 

Gov.  "  At  the  treaty  I  thought  you  a  good  man,  but  since  you 


have  acted  badly,  and  I  am  disposed  to  break  you.  I  do  break 

Red  Iron.  ' l  You  break  me  1  My  people  made  me  a  chief.  My 
people  love  me.  I  will  still  be  their  chief.  I  have  done  nothing 

Gov.  "Why  did  you  get  your  braves  together  and  march  around 
here  for  the  purpose  of  intimidating  other  chiefs,  and  prevent 
their  coming  to  the  council  ?  " 

Red  Iron.  "  I  did  not  get  my  braves  together,  they  got  together 
themselves  to  prevent  boys  going  to  council  to  be  made  chiefs, 
to  sign  papers,  and  to  prevent  single  chiefs  going  to  council  at 
night,  to  be  bribed  to  sign  papers  for  money  we  have  never  got. 
We  have  heard  how  the  Medewakantons  were  served  at  Mendota; 
that  by  secret  councils  you  got  their  names  on  paper,  and  took 
away  their  money.  We  don't  want  to  be  served  so.  My  braves 
wanted  to  come  to  council  in  the  daytime,  when  the  sun  shines, 
and  we  want  no  councils  in  the  dark.  We  want  all  our  people 
to  go  to  council  together,  so  that  we  can  all  know  what  is  done." 

Gov.  "  Why  did  you  attempt  to  come  to  council  with  your 
braves,  when  I  had  forbidden  your  braves  coming  to  council?" 

Red  Iron.  "  You  invited  the  chiefs  only,  and  would  not  let  the 
braves  conie  too.  This  is  not  the  way  we  have  been  treated  be- 
fore; this  is  not  according  to  our  customs,  for  among  Dakotas 
chiefs  and  braves  go  to  council  together.  When  you  first  sent 
for  us,  there  were  two  or  three  chiefs  here,  and  we  wanted  to 
wait  till  the  rest  would  come,  that  we  might  all  be  in  council  to- 
gether and  know  what  was  done,  and  so  that  we  might  all  under- 
stand the  papers,  and  know  what  we  were  signing.  When  we 
signed  the  treaty  the  traders  threw  a  blanket  over  our  faces  and 
darkened  our  eyes,  and  made  us  sign  papers  which  we  did  not 
understand,  and  which  were  not  explained  or  read  to  us.  We 
want  our  Great  Father  at  Washington  to  know  what  has  been 

Gov.  "  Your  Great  Father  has  sent  me  to  represent  him,  and 
what  I  say  is  what  he  says.  He  wants  you  to  pay  your  old  debts, 
in  accordance  with  the  paper  you  signed  when  the  treaty  was 
made,  and  to  leave  that  money  in  my  hands  to  pay  these  debts. 
If  you  refuse  to  do  that  I  will  take  the  money  back." 

Red  Iron.  "  You  can  take  the  money  back.  We  sold  our  land 
to  you,  and  you  promised  to  pay  us.  If  you  don't  give  us  the 
money  I  will  be  glad,  and  all  our  people  will  be  glad,  for  we  will 
have  our  land  back  if  you  don't  give  us  the  money.  That  paper 


was  not  interpreted  or  explained  to  us.  We  are  told  it  gives 
about  300  boxes  ($300,000)  of  our  money  to  some  of  the  traders. 
We  don't  think  we  owe  them  so  much.  We  want  to  pay  all  our 
debts.  We  want  our  Great  Father  to  send  three  good  men  here 
to  tell  us  how  much  we  do  owe,  and  whatever  they  say  we  will 
pay;  and  that 's  what  all  these  braves  say.  Our  chiefs  and  all  our 
people  say  this.  * '  All  the  Indians  present  responded, c  *  Ho  I  ho ! ' ' 

Gov.  "  That  can't  be  done.  You  owe  more  than  your  money 
will  pay,  and  I  am  ready  now  to  pay  your  annuity,  and  no  more ; 
and  when  you  are  ready  to  receive  it,  the  agent  will  pay  you." 

Red  Iron.  et  We  will  receive  our  annuity,  but  we  will  sign  no 
papers  for  anything  else.  The  snow  is  on  the  ground,  and  we 
have  been  waiting  a  long  time  to  get  our  money.  We  are  poor; 
you  have  plenty.  Your  fires  are  warm.  Your  tepees  keep  out  the 
cold:  We  have  nothing  to  eat.  We  have  been  waiting  a  long 
time  for  our  moneys.  Our  hunting-season  is  past.  A  great  many 
of  our  people  are  sick,  for  being  hungry.  We  may  die  because 
you  won't  pay  us.  We  may  die,  but  if  we  do  we  will  leave  our 
bones  on  the  ground,  that  our  Great  Father  may  see  where  his 
Dakota  children  died.  We  are  very  poor.  We  have  sold  our 
hunting-grounds  and  the  graves  of  our  fathers.  We  have  sold 
our  own  graves.  We  have  no  place  to  bury  our  dead,  and  you 
will  not  pay  us  the  money  for  our  lands." 

The  council  was  broken  up,  and  Red  Iron  was  sent  to  the  guard- 
house, where  he  was  kept  till  next  day.  Between  thirty  and 
forty  of  the  braves  of  Red  Iron's  band  were  present  during  this 
arrangement  before  the  governor.  When  he  was  led  away,  they 
departed  in  sullen  silence,  headed  by  Lean  Bear,  to  a  spot  a  quar- 
ter of  a  mile  from  the  council-house,  where  they  uttered  a  suc- 
cession of  yells — the  gathering  signal  of  the  Dakotas.  Ere  the 
echoes  died  away,  Indians  were  hurrying  from  their  tepees  to- 
ward them,  prepared  for  battle.  They  proceeded  to  the  eminence 
near  the  camp,  where  mouldered  the  bones  of  many  warriors. 
It  was  the  memorable  battle-ground,  where  their  ancestors  had 
fought,  in  a  conflict  like  Waterloo,  the  warlike  Sacs  and  Foxes, 
thereby  preserving  their  lands  and  nationality.  Upon  this  field 
stood  two  hundred  resolute  warriors  ready  to  do  battle  for  their 
hereditary  chief.  Lean  Bear,  the  principal  brave  of  Red  Iron's 
band,  was  a  large,  resolute  man,  about  thirty-five  years  of  age, 
and  had  great  influence  in  his  nation. 

Here,  on  their  old  battle-ground,  Lean  Bear  recounted  the 
brave  deeds  of  Red  Iron,  the  long  list  of  wrongs  inflicted  on  the 


Indians  by  the  white  men,  and  proposed  to  the  braves  that  they 
should  make  a  general  attack  on  the  whites.  By  the  influence 
of  some  of  the  half-breeds,  and  of  white  men  who  were  known 
to  be  friendly  to  them,  Lean  Bear  was  induced  to  abandon  his 
scheme ;  and  finally,  the  tribe,  being  starving,  consented  to  give 
up  their  lands  and  accept  the  sum  of  money  offered  to  them. 

"  Over  $55,000  of  this  treaty  money,  paid  for  debts  of  the 
Indians,  went  to  one  Hugh  Tyler,  a  stranger  in  the  country, 
'for  getting  the  treaties  through  the  Senate,  and  for  necessaiy 
disbursements  in  securing  the  assent  of  the  chiefs.'  " 

Five  years  later  another  trader,  under  the  pretence  that  he  was 
going  to  get  back  for  them  some  of  this  stolen  treaty  money,  ob- 
tained their  signature  to  vouchers,  by  means  of  which  he  cheated 
them  out  of  $12,000  more.  At  this  same  time  he  obtained  a 
payment  of  $4,500  for  goods  he  said  they  had  stolen  from  him. 
Another  man  was  allowed  a  claim  of  $5,000  for  horses  he  said 
they  had  stolen  from  him. 

"  In  1858  the  chiefs  were  taken  to  Washington,  and  agreed  to 
the  treaties  for  the  cession  of  all  then:  reservation  north  of  the 
Minnesota  River,  under  which,  as  ratified  by  the  Senate,  they 
were  to  have  $166,000 ;  but  of  this  amount  they  never  received 
one  penny  till  four  years  afterward,  when  $15,000  in  goods  were 
sent  to  the  Lower  Sioux,  and  these  were  deducted  out  of  what  was 
due  them  under  former  treaties." — History  of  the  Sioux  War,  by 

This  paragraph  gives  the  causes  of  the  fearful  Minnesota  mas- 
sacre, in  which  eight  hundred  people  lost  their  lives. 

The  treaty  expressly  provided  that  no  claims  against  the  In- 
dians should  be  paid  unless  approved  by  the  Indians  in  open 
council.  No  such  council  was  held.  A